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How Anthony Bourdain Contributed to Food Culture

Updated: May 18, 2023



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Anthony Bourdain lived in New Jersey and his mother was a copyeditor and his father a music executive. He attended Vassar College for two years and graduated from the Culinary Institute of American. Despite suffering from depression, drug and alcohol addiction he managed to change our perception of the culinary world.


His series Kitchen Confidential took you into the restaurant kitchen and showed you how a chef and their staff worked on a daily basis. Viewers were introduced to chefs from different cultures, their routine, and culture. Anthony Bourdain showed how food tied people together and created a positive experience.


In his TV series Anthony Bourdain dined with the chef and the families that ran the restaurants and interviewed chefs that made street food. He increased the publics respect for street food and eating it. He drew our attention to the social, political, and cultural injustices in the United States and abroad surrounding food.


In his series The Mind of A Chef he served as executive producer and interviewed chefs about their professional techniques and personal history. He criticized the celebrity chef system or syndrome. Anthony Bourdain worked at several different restaurants as a chef and wrote several books about the culinary world.














Photo Source: Flicker Cheryl Chia


Anthony Bourdain said food does not have to be expensive to taste good. At one time he dined with President Obama in Singapore and they enjoyed noodles for lunch that cost on $6. Bourdain often listened to his daughter's criticism of his recipes and make changes to him based on her opinion. He liked eating at the Waffle House and did not consider himself a food snob.


When he visited another country he asked local residents or chefs for recommendations of the best restaurants to try. He said that the local residents always knew where the best restaurants, food trucks, and other food vendors were. He had a knack for understanding and empathizing with other food cultures and people.


He will be remembered by others for his willingness and openness to learn about other cultures and their food. He showed people how other chefs cooked and what they ate Anthony Bourdain respected the differences in cultures and enjoyed the food. He spoke up on political issues when he saw injustice. It is too bad we do not have more chefs like him in the world.


We have heard many negative things about Anthony Bourdain since his death. Let's try to recall the good he did and how he contributed positively to food culture in the world.


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