What is Bourdain Day (June 25) and Why This Day is Important

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Anthony Bourdain backed up his words with action, all the while urging us to do much more than just trying new foods in exotic locations filled with fascinating strangers.

He desperately wanted us to get out of our comfort zones and see the world (in person) through the eyes of people we would never otherwise know. Watching his TV shows, first “No Reservations” and then “Unknown Parts,” allowed us to spend time with a real-life explorer who trotted around the world looking for, well, the things that make us human. Food, yes. But also love, spirit and passion.

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Bourdain, who suffered from depression, killed himself in 2018 at the age of 61. “Anthony was my best friend,” French chef and close friend Eric Ripert tweeted at the time. “An exceptional human being, so inspiring and generous.” Ripert, along with another longtime friend, José Andrés, declared Bourdain Day 2019 on June 25 (Bourdain’s birthday).

What is Bourdain Day (June 25) and Why This Day is Important

BOURDAIN DAY TIME

2019 – Creation of the Anthony Bourdain Legacy scholarship
This will provide grant funds to one or more Culinary Institute of America students per year to study abroad. Bourdain attended the school campus in Hyde Park, New York, in the late 1970s.

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2013 – “Unknown pieces”
His CNN show focused on food, as well as culture and politics. President Obama made an appearance during an episode filmed in Vietnam. Bourdain had left his Travel Channel show “No Reservations” in 2012 after a fight with the network.

2006 – A narrow escape
The war between Israel and Lebanon broke out while Bourdain was filming “No Reservations” in Beirut. He and his crew managed to escape the country with the help of the US Marine Corps. USA

2000 – Best Selling Book
Bourdain published his most famous book: “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Lower Belly”. The book ended up being a New York Times bestseller and would change Bourdain’s career forever. This followed a series of works of fiction and non-fiction.

1998 – Executive Chef
Bourdain became Executive Chef at Brasserie Les Halles. He remained there for many years, and eventually became what the restaurant called its “chef overall.”

HOW TO OBSERVE THE BOURDAIN DAY

Travel
Perhaps it is better to spend discretionary income on experiences rather than objects. Amazing things can happen when you are in far away places. Start packing, if you can.

What is Bourdain Day (June 25) and Why This Day is Important

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Catch up with “Unknown Parts”
Bourdain’s most recent television series took him around the world, including Berlin, Vietnam, and Antarctica. He is one of the most attractive personalities you will see on television. If you really can’t travel, this is the best option.

Consider living in a foreign country
An estimated 9 million Americans live abroad. These include retirees, as well as a growing number of so-called “digital nomads” who, thanks to an increasingly reliable WiFi connection in many countries, can work from anywhere. Living abroad, even temporarily, can alter your perspective on everything.

5 EPISODES “UNKNOWN PARTS” THAT YOU NEED TO SEE IMMEDIATELY

“Rome” (2016)
Bourdain met his future girlfriend Asia Argento during this episode. At one point, they end up in a boxing match and dine on spaghetti during the fight.

“Kenya” (2018)
Television presenter W. Kamau Bell joined Bourdain for this. This was the first episode to air after Bourdain’s death. Bell said during the episode, “The idea that I’m sitting here with you doing this now, knowing where my life and career come from, is pretty cool.”

“Peru” (2013)
Bourdain and his close friend Eric Ripert playfully explore the country, eventually ending up in the Andes, where they visit farmers who harvest the cocoa used in the duo’s gourmet chocolate bars. The experience seemed to leave Bourdain somewhat disappointed about the chocolate business.

“Iran” (2014)
Bourdain met with married journalists Jason Rezaian and Yeganeh Salehi. Both were jailed after the episode. While the captors released Salehi after a few months, Rezaian, who wrote for the “Washington Post,” remained incarcerated until 2016.

“Hanoi” (2016)
Undoubtedly one of the show’s all-time highlights, this episode featured President Obama just six weeks before the 2016 election. They shared a small table while eating the plate of pork and bun bun noodles.

WHY BOURDAIN DAY IS IMPORTANT

Inspiration
Bourdain gave us the plan for a braver life. I wanted everyone, especially Americans, to see the world and experience other cultures first hand. Google Maps only takes you so far.

Hard
All the success and fame in the world could not save Bourdain in the end. It is well known that he battled substance abuse early in his career. He also suffered from depression. Bourdain’s death occurred just three days after New York City designer Kate Spade also took her life. Mental health problems deserve our full attention.

Hope
Bourdain started out as a restaurant line cook who could barely pay the rent. It ended with a famous chef, author, and TV presenter with massive appeal and followers around the world. Despite everything, she managed a measure of happiness, although unfortunately it would not last.

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