The loss of Anthony Bourdain is heartbreaking. To his friends and family, we know that thoughts and prayers will never be enough to make up for the loss. Please accept our condolences.
Over the last few days, I struggled to put into words what the loss of Anthony Bourdain meant to all of us at FunFriendsFoodTravel. Anthony was more than a storyteller. He had the courage, to tell the truth about the hardships born by the laborers in the industry.
To work the line day in day out is brutal: physically and mentally. The demand for consistent perfection weighs not only on the chef but the whole team down to the dishwasher. I know of chefs who turned away Michelin honors because of the constant scrutiny to their crews and their families. (Many people forget that the families of those working in the service industry also suffer.)
Like us, Anthony celebrated the simple foods. During a trip to Taiwan, I caught him thoroughly enjoy eating an egg sandwich at a 7-11. Good food doesn’t have to be something expensive or with lots of components. It is just about treating the ingredients with respect. Food is emotional not just technical. Meals are best enjoyed with friends and family. Most of all, good food is a right, not a privilege.
Anthony’s travels did not present a perfect picture of the world. He took audiences to places of struggle. While the rest of peak TV focused on the glory of war the lens rarely focused on the damage inflicted to the people caught in between. "Happy horse-shit travel" and food shows ignore the struggles of the people in the places they visit. Silence condones evil, instead it champions ignorance and indifference. Anthony never hid the truth from the audience. Most of all he captured how resilient humanity is by championing the people, culture, and cuisine.
Perhaps this was the part of Anthony’s character that our team collectively admired the most. He was not shy to point out the many incongruities in our world today. Peace comes through understanding, not through dominance or the barrel of a gun. Peace begins when you break bread especially with someone you disagree with. Peace and happiness happen when you accept life's imperfections and the diversity it brings to the dinner table.
If you are struggling, call someone, anyone: a friend, neighbor family member, religious figure, doctor, the police. Call them now. (We’ve done our best to collect hotlines for you below, based on our readership.)
Remember, you are not alone.
[Given our readership, we have provided the hotlines listed below in Mandarin. Please click here for the Mandarin version]
In Canada, for a list of local crisis centers please refer to
Livslinien - 70 201 201
Counsel24 - 1566-2525
SOS Help - 01 46 21 46 46
Filsantejuenes - 0800 235 236
In Hong Kong:
Suicide Prevention Services - 2382-0000
Tell - 03-5774-0992
Befrenders - 603-795-68145
Taiwan Lifeline International 02-27189595
Samaritans of Singapore - 800-221-4444
Teléfono de la esperanza - 717 003 717
In the US:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
In the UK:
Samaritans.org - 08457 90 90 90
childline.org.uk - 0800 1111
The Silver Line - 0800 4 70 80 90
As a strategic consultant, I manage chaos for a living. So travel is easy for me. Heh. I travel to understand people and culture more deeply than a newspaper or tv show could ever tell me. I break bread to build bridges across political and social boundaries. Travel inspires me, teaches me and humbles me such that I appreciate my part of the world more deeply.