Goodbye Anthony Bourdain

It has been six days since I got back from Iceland. And every single day has been spent in bed – dealing with conjunctivitis, cold, cough and fever. Despite all precautions, all sort of vitamins and even getting decent sleep. And yet, it has been a rough few days. Even though I have tried to keep up with work — thanks to Zoom video conference, I have fallen behind on my emails.

And if that was not enough, I have been devastated by the news of the suicide of Kate Spade, a designer who works were appreciated by millions of women around the world. But today, my world got a little darker. Anthony Bourdain, a chef and a food journalist I admired deeply committed suicide in France. His show Parts Unknown was the only show worth watching on CNN. I loved his previous travel shows as well.

A man who struggled and overcame his addictions learned to live with his flaws. He found hope in others, and delight in every meal. His desire to embrace differences made him much more potent as a journalist than anyone on television. A true globalist, Bourdain was not perfect, but like the imperfect world he loved, that’s what made him perfect for our flat planet. He was the soul of this planet, connecting all places, people with the language of food.

Some years ago, when having coffee with late New York Times media critic, David Carr, I confessed that I wanted to meet Anthony Bourdain. Unfortunately, David passed away, and now Bourdain is gone forever. All I have left is the lessons from David and the incredible legacy left behind by Bourdain.

His work has influenced so many writers and it will continue to influence for years to come. And for that we should all be grateful. This week has been a rude reminder that no matter what success seems on the outside unless we conquer the demons within, nothing matters.

From the New Yorker Archives: Don’t eat before reading this. By Anthony Bourdain.

A letter from Om

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