Anthony Bourdain died on June 8. The chef-traveller-storyteller had a way with words and was not afraid to speak his mind. Here are a few of his quotes – some humorous, many that we may learn from, and others that may even offend.
Good food is very often, even most often, simple food.
I’ve long believed that good food, good eating, is all about risk. Whether we’re talking about unpasteurised Stilton, raw oysters or working for organised crime ‘associates,’ food, for me, has always been an adventure.
Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit, an affront to all I stand for, the pure enjoyment of food. The body, these waterheads imagine, is a temple that should not be polluted by animal protein. It’s healthier, they insist, though every vegetarian waiter I’ve worked with is brought down by any rumour of a cold.
To me, life without veal stock, pork fat, sausage, organ meat, demi-glace, or even stinky cheese is a life not worth living.
“We know, for instance, that there is a direct, inverse relationship between frequency of family meals and social problems. Bluntly stated, members of families who eat together regularly are statistically less likely to stick up liquor stores, blow up meth labs, give birth to crack babies, commit suicide, or make donkey porn. If Little Timmy had just had more meatloaf, he might not have grown up to fill chest freezers with Cub Scout parts.”
“Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed popemobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafes and McDonald’s? Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble tacqueria’s mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head? I know what I want. I want it all. I want to try everything once.”
Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life – and travel – leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks – on your body or on your heart – are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt.
If you’re 22, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel – as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them – wherever you go.
“Open your mind, get up off the couch, move.”
Skills can be taught. Character you either have or you don’t have.
I don’t have to agree with you to like you or respect you.
Your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.
“Maybe that’s enlightenment enough: to know that there is no final resting place of the mind; no moment of smug clarity. Perhaps wisdom… is realising how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go.”