Celebrating #Bourdainday

Celebrating #BourdainDay

Here We are Celebrating #bourdainday

I am sitting in the most Anthony Bourdain place I could think of in Columbus Ohio, Celebrating #Bourdainday… Are there other places he would go if here with me? Sure, probably. Will they be as good maybe, will they be in the space of a former strip club serving spicy Asian fish stew…nope absolutely not.

He Once Vistited Columbus

He visited Columbus once for No Reservations. The place he went for Asian food is closed now. And Pizza, ahhh done that.

Today is about Celebrating #bourdainday. I had to work today, and then I went to a very proper business meeting with a food distributor, and now I sit at Helens Asian Kitchen. I have ordered food, and that is almost not the point.

Why am I Celebrating #bourdainday

What is the point?? I am sitting here, reflecting on people who make a difference in my life. People I love and who love me or I think like me. Sometimes it is tough to tell. I wonder did Bourdain know how loved he was. How admired and how idolized he was.

Did he understand fully how he spoke for people who do not feel like they fit anywhere? Did he realize a year later we would be celebrating #bourdainday the world over?  He not only spoke of kitchens and working in the most significant most satisfying jobs in the world. But He spoke to our souls. When other people do not understand or don’t see the world like those of us that have this wanderlust coursing thru our blood, he somehow made us outcasts feel a part of the world.

My Heart Breaks but I Understand

I feel for Bourdain. His pain was deep, deep enough to take his own life. Maybe I understand it because my dad’s mom took her own life. We never talked about it, but it was always there.

Maybe I understand it because to be in this business you expose your heart more, and you share more of yourself then you care to admit. Bourdain understood this more than many for he not only shared on a plate or in a dining room he shared on TV and in the tabloids and on Twitter. He was everywhere. His heart and soul exposed for the world to see. Suicide and his darkness were all that were left that were his.

We Set Ourselves Up for Pain

You see many of us in this business do this thing where we share our selves our creations our hopes and dreams with virtual strangers. We tell the world what we are doing and what we plan to do, and then We fail! We fail a lot!. Sometimes our food sucks or our business closes, or we work for overblown egos. We drop a drink on a customer, we burn the last steak in the house, we sleep with the hostess and instantly realize that was a failure that will haunt us.

I once bought into a dream of a restaurant called REID named after my godson I worked hard at rehabbing the living space above the restaurant. I had two people who I shared my dream with who I thought had the same vision as me. The restaurant never opened. I moved out of my apartment. It was the first time I felt like death would have been better than embarrassment.

I moved to another state, leaving a job in this business that stole my soul. It was the second time I choose to live. For had I stayed there, I surely would have killed myself. Maybe not with a gun in my mouth but with food, booze, and stress.

Maybe for all those reasons and a million more service industry people are celebrating #bourdainday the world over. Making meals, adorning our bodies and our restaurant walls with his likeness. We are still here we are not mad at him for leaving, we may even be a little envious

It’s not only On the job

We live this intensity at work and then we bring this level of intensity home to our relationships, family, and friends. To wait on people all day and to create and serve food and drink it is our craft. This craft we love feeds you and makes us passionate it makes us love deeply, and it makes us romantics. There is something very romantic about bringing people joy using some or all of their senses; it is intimate and loving.

Bourdain said..” Cooking is a craft, I like to think, and a good cook is a craftsman — not an artist. There’s nothing wrong with that: The great cathedrals of Europe were built by craftsmen — though not designed by them. Practicing your craft expertly is noble, honorable, and satisfying.”

It’s Romantic…

Not the kind of romantic that plans out an evening with perfect courses flowers, wine, dinner and it ending in coitus. No, we are the kind of romantics that throw a bottle of tequila in a backpack grab the keys to our cars or hop on the train and go to the best place for tacos while racing time to get to the highest point so we can to watch the sun go down. If we are lucky, we can find a soul to go on the ride with us, even if they don’t understand why we are the way we are. Friend or lover, we guarantee the best time. Sure sometimes it ends with some deep intense physical touch, but that is just because everyone gets lucky sometimes even restaurant nerds. More times than not, it ends in a breathless exhilaration that until you have it and understand you don’t know it. It can often beat penetration of any kind.

Bourdain was this Romantic you can see it in nearly every show he ever made. But don’t take my word for it I will let him tell you…

“I’m a big believer in winging it. I’m a big believer that you’re never going to find a perfect city travel experience or the perfect meal without a constant willingness to experience a bad one. Letting the happy accident happen is what a lot of vacation itineraries miss, I think, and I’m always trying to push people to allow those things to happen rather than stick to some rigid itinerary.”

How deep is our Love

When we fall, we fall hard, our love is deep. I would love to tell you it is just about fucking, and yeah we all know that’s enjoyable, but it is the least of it. We want more we want the heart, the mind the soul and we overwhelm ourselves and those we fall in love with. We do not mean to make it overwhelming but overwhelming it is none the less.

Bourdain knew this for he loved his women, food, drink, and his friends with an intense passion. How do I know this you say you do not know him. I know it because after he took his own life, there was no anger there was an outpouring of love. A year later and his best friends created a day to celebrate him not to mourn him. They feast on the day of his birth, not the day he died. His alma mater created a scholarship. You only celebrate a life that gave love genuinely, by showing and giving love deeply

Bourdain’s words “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.”

You still may not believe I know this love, but I saw it when my dad died there was no funeral or sadness there was a man in a kilt playing the bagpipes there was champagne and shrimp cocktail. There were dessert bars by the hundreds all made by people who loved a man who loved them. Maybe that’s why I understand Bourdain because that day while I put raspberries on top of Brie and poured champagne into glasses I also wanted to die. I tried to lay down and stop breathing.

We All Have Known this Pain

We all have those moments where we think we could end it. Where failure hurts, where jobs are lost, where we realize we spent to much time on someone that had no way of loving us the way we loved them, of just wanting peace or trying to cope when best friend dies. I understand the feeling of wanting to close your eyes and never open them again. I also appreciate that Bourdain in living his life gave us enough reason to not do what he did. He loved enough that he left us with an aim of celebrating #bourdainday and his life instead of mourning his death.

Bourdain “The journey is part of the experience — an expression of the seriousness of one’s intent. One doesn’t take the A train to Mecca.”

Before You Take the Final Train Let someone Love You

Enjoy the journey, and if you ever feel so overwhelmed, you don’t know how to get out of it, call the suicide hotline number 1-800-273-8255. There is something remarkable about a stranger showing you love a kind of love that comes from a place that we who work in the service industry know all too well. Its the same passion as cooking someone a meal, making them a drink and giving them a little bit of yourself…


I have written about Anthony Bourdain before anthonybourdain-is-the-reason-i-write/

the first of his many books

You can be celebrating #Bourdainday year round by purchasing Bourdain’s many books here they are so enjoyable and are a window into a fascinating Life.