How Anthony Bourdain changed both food and travel
Tuesday, July 24, 2018
The news about Anthony Bourdain’s suicide on June 8 shook the world. His work reached across the food, travel and media industries but it touched millions.
Scores of travelers have made plans to visit various locations around the globe and do food tours after watching his travel documentaries. He bridged the gap between borders and told colorful stories behind the cuisine of each place he visited.
From the streets of Bangkok to diners in cowboy country, he explored the food that locals loved and devoured. He taught us to celebrate the differences in culture and appreciate the exotic.
He also gave us a glimpse of the restaurant world, which is as harsh as it is creative. He also showed us that behind every dish there is a story, a person, fascinating history, and unique culture.
Bourdain’s fame categorized him as a chef and traveler, but he was also a humanist. It is this aspect of his personality that defined him and underlined everything he did.
He did more than cook up delicious meals or visit a series of famous holes in the wall. He poked the dormant wanderlust in us and pushed us to travel, explore the unknowns in travel and try out the food of the world.
Bourdain had a deep impact on food travel. He recalibrated the way we thought about food and turned it into an adventure.
His way of life created not just a way of looking at the world, but of moving through it. He combined food as a part of the travel conversation.
While he was not the only one to extol the virtues of experiential travel, he made us sit up and take notice. He was instrumental to reshaping of the travel industry. He made food travel the default mode of travel for an entire generation.
He helped change the idea of travel from fun and from being a break from everyday life to a must-have part of our routines. The definition of travel changed for many, depicting it as an accessible joy to anyone who can afford it.
Lucas Peterson of The New York Times said that Bourdain was an activist at heart and a champion of regular people. He knew that travel and food had the potential to help a fractured world and strove hard to bring them together.
In the end, the success of his stories lay in simplicity. He did not urge us to travel to find the fancy, but to search for more simple dishes that constituted a good, hearty meal.
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