Remembering Anthony Bourdain

All of us at D’Artagnan are devastated at the loss of Anthony Bourdain. CNN announced the news of his suicide Friday morning and our community has been reverberating with the shock ever since. Tony was not only a longtime friend of the company but was practically family to Ariane, our founder, for whom he named his daughter. Like so many, she is perplexed and hurt by the sudden loss of her good friend.

Our thoughts and hearts are with Tony’s whole family, especially his daughter, and the many friends who loved him. He will be deeply missed. 

I have a hard time writing, because I cannot understand why he decided to stop everything, when he has a beautiful daughter, a new fabulous love in his life, and millions of people vicariously traveling and discovering other ways of living thanks to him. He has helped Americans embrace the diversity of the world.  – Ariane Daguin

You will see many tributes to him, and maybe learn more about the complex man behind the public figure in the process. Everyone who knew him, or met him, or was inspired by him is sharing their memories on social media. It is no surprise that he touched people, but the tributes are coming from every corner of the globe. That was his beat, after all.

To add to the many, here are some of our photos of Tony at various D’Artagnan events.


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Tony had a voice that reached out of his books and the TV, and shook you, demanding your attention. He said things others wouldn’t, with directness and startling clarity, and faced the most difficult topics and situations, bringing nuanced thoughtfulness to them with his endlessly curious mind.

If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. Walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food.  – Anthony Bourdain

Back in 2009, he came to D’Artagnan to learn about foie gras, which was very controversial subject in the news at the time. Tony was a staunch supporter, often writing powerful editorials in defense of foie gras, lending his wit and candor to the public debate. He used his TV show, No Reservations, to investigate foie gras production and show his audience everything he witnessed. If you’ve never watched this, it’s worth 5 minutes.

Fitting Tributes

Here are some of the articles that touched us as we struggled to process the news and our grief.

Bon Appetit reposted a touching piece Tony wrote in 2012 called “How Anthony Bourdain Came to Be Anthony Bourdain.” The childhood photos are wonderful.

The eloquent New York Times obituary is a must-read.

On ChefsFeed, Richie Nakano wrote about how Tony influenced the link cooks of his generation with his tell-all book “Kitchen Confidential.”

That influential book was a result of Tony’s 1999 article in The New Yorker –  Don’t Eat Before Reading This  – which revealed trade secrets about the professional kitchen.

This is a powerful eulogy by Helen Rosner at The New Yorker.

Frank Bruni on The Insatiable and Unknowable Anthony Bourdain at The NY Times.

Asking For Help

Our industry is a fast-paced, high-pressure one. The talented and dedicated men and women who work long hours in the kitchen often suffer from mental health and substance abuse issues. Tony was very clear in his writing over the years about the difficulties of that pressure-cooker environment.

There is no reason to suffer alone. Food writer Kat Kinsman started an organization, Chefs with Issues, to support food industry workers and give them helpful resources.

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Ric Kiesel says:

    The world has lost a great man in a time when we need understanding and care of others’ cultures. I always admired him and respected how he brought the idea we are all one people.

  2. MaryBeth says:

    I honestly believe there is some fowl play. I think someone killed him. Very sad.

  3. Chef Christopher Heath says:

    It was many years ago, probably 2001-2002, I was hanging out with Ariane. It must have been Bastille Day or something, I believe we were playing petanque in the Village. Later that night Ariane asked if I wanted to go to Les Halles for there Anniversary dinner. Of course I said yes, because Les Halles was one of my favorite spots. Not sure how or why but, probably because of Ariane, I was sat right next to Tony, at his party. They brought out these roasting pans of cassoulet, that was incredible. Tony was pouring major amounts of wine and telling stories, while we were all having fun and laughing. I will never forget that night and how much, as a young chef, that influenced me so much.

    Christopher Heath
    Corporate Chef / Paxos Restaurants

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