Anthony Bourdain wasn’t my culinary hero. The closest I have to culinary heroes are Masaharu Morimoto (for my memories of him as an Iron Chef), Albert Adria for raw artisanship, and Jacques Pepin for his ability to teach.
Anthony Bourdain was a literary hero for me, and a role model for how he approached food and life. He is still an inspiration for me as a storyteller because of his ability to remove himself from the center of it. He could write himself almost as a narrator, bearing witness to the food, the people, and the stories of their lives that THEY had to tell.
That was his greatest gift to me, I think. Not just inspiration to BECOME a cook (he certainly provided that as well), but an object lesson in how to connect with others, and help them tell their stories.Continue reading