As I sit here typing this I am very troubled. The inspiration for writing this blog was suddenly knocked out of me. I'm at a loss for words, and I'm not sure how to convey the feeling of loss in this cherished community, we call the kitchen.
On June 8th, Chef Anthony Bourdain, decided to take his life. This hit the world with shock. A successful chef, an author, TV personality, a travel guide; someone many people connected with through his shows and books. I certainly had a connection to him, he was a giant in the chef world. One of the most respected, loved and celebrated.
I first learned of Chef Bourdain through his NY Times Best Selling book, Kitchen Confidential. A look into the real world of kitchens all across the globe. Chefs, cooks, dishwashers and other restaurant workers could easily relate to the jokes, the sarcasm, the lifestyle that was the day to day for us. Outsiders got a peek at what goes on behind those doors, opening up a whole new world, with its own practices, language, and rituals. Kitchen work is almost like a cult, once you're in it, wherever you work, you become part of a brother/sisterhood. You can go to any dive bar at 1am and find kitchen workers regaling tales of double shifts, showing off newly earned battle scars.
Chef Bourdain gave everyone a peek at what food was; a connection. Though his TV shows, and his books, he connected cultures across the globe through food. Giving us a unique insight into others traditions, lifestyles, and of course their food. He dove head first into everywhere he traveled, never saying no to what the locals offered him. He truly loved getting to know the food, the culture and sharing with us his passion for it.
He was a giant inspiration behind me wanting to share my passion for the food world, and with the loss of him, it set me back. I lost my focus for a couple weeks. I sat here trying to come up with what I wanted to say, what I wanted to share and couldn't think of anything. I truly had writers block. "Should I write a post about him? Should I not mention it and keep sharing tips and recipes?" Thoughts swirled around in my head like crazy. Finally, I came to the decision to write this post. I've written, deleted, rewritten, edited, deleted some more, and wrote again.
It was such a devastating loss to me, to the community I hold close, to all who knew him, or watched his shows and read his books. He will not be forgotten for all he gave to the world. I re-read Kitchen Confidential while trying to write this post, and it again, inspired me. I will continue to share my passion, just as he did for so long.
Chef, you are missed, you are loved, and I will do my best to continue to share our love and passion for food and travel, even if it's just my small contribution on this blog.
To ALL my readers, if you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, remember that no matter how tough it is, there are people out there that love you. There are resources for you. I have had my own share of struggles, and I have learned to reach out when I need help. Whether it be to friends, family or total strangers in the kitchen world that understand how the life is. My e-mail is always open to anyone who needs help, firstname.lastname@example.org
The National Suicide Hotline is also always available to anyone struggling; call 1-800-273-8255.
Thank you all for taking the time out of your busy lives to read my blog. Your support is truly appreciated. Until the next post...
"You learn a lot about someone when you share a meal with them."
-Chef Anthony Bourdain