I have been on a hiatus for over a month mainly due to technical issues with the website. I am back with a secure and safe to use website. It is unfortunate that my first post back happens to be about the loss of renowned chef and entertainer Anthony Bourdain. However, I felt the need to dedicate a post to him because much like so many others, he was an inspiration to me as well. His depth and outlook was of admiration at many levels beyond the food he brought to our lives.
I was first drawn to him by his travel and food show No Reservations. While most travel show hosts were taking us to Paris and at the most daring level, Safaris in Africa, Bourdain was entering the homes of gracious hosts in Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia. When he did go to fabulous cities like Paris, as he did in his very first episode of No Reservations, he showed us the cities famous catacombs and delivers to our virtual tables absinthe. I suppose this darker exploration of Paris could have been the first hint to Mr.Bourdain’s final day with us, as he spend a nigh in the room where Oscar Wilde died. His second episode was titled “Iceland: Hello Darkness My Old Friend.” In this episode Anthony found comfort in darkness.
The melancholy that he held close to him was one of the many facets of Anthony Bourdain. He was an amazing man who was there to help and stand up for what was right. One of my favorite episodes of No Reservations is “Anthony Bourdain in Beirut.” While others may have shut down their cameras prioritized their own protection, Bourdain and his crew kept the cameras rolling and documented when they were trapped in Beirut, Lebanon during the Israel-Lebanon war back in 2006. Anthony Bourdain retraced French post-Impressionist artist Paul Gauguin’s travels through French Poylnesia, to see what drew the artis there, taking me back to my honeymoon days and the same solace I found while there. During Bourdain’s stay he got inked with a Marquesan tattoo.
When Anthony Bourdain visited a city he didn’t just highlight tourist spots, he lived and showed us what it meant to be of that town and culture. He attacked the aftermath of civil wars and tsunamis. I suppose to care so much and want to bring light upon the darker sides of the world may affect a man’s peace of mind. Why did no one place caution to that for this remarkable person. In light of this tragedy, and as someone in the line of the mental health profession, I hope we as a society can put into place prevention for such sadness.