Of Food, Culture and Anthony Bourdain


photo credit: Charles Sykes/Invision

I’m still shaking my head in disbelief each time I see another journalist speak of the passing of Anthony Bourdain, writer, chef and storyteller. I started watching his show “No Reservations” back in late 2000. Even though I’ve been traveling since the age of 17 (Spain was my first international destination) I admit that my first travels were riddled with unknowns and a limited amount of knowledge of both international cuisines and travel savvy.

I recall wishing that I could travel with less planning and more impromptu adventures. Watching Anthony Bourdain’s shows increased my curiosity about the discovery of unknown locations and food. When I had the opportunity to travel to Asia (China and India) I remember Anthony highlighting the adventure of eating locally.

As I continued to follow his many shows, he became my travel and culinary hero. I enjoyed each and every episode, often taking note of the location and delicacies he shared with us, his fans. During the past few years as I returned to Spain to walk the Camino de Santiago, I sought to find out more about the local chefs and eating establishments and I took particular pleasure getting to know the locals and discover their customs and ways.

I even remember a particular evening in Santiago Spain where locals were celebrating the “Fiesta de la Sardina”. I clearly remember thinking this would be a great subject for one of Anthony’s shows, as I enjoyed the festivities and the taste of grilled sardines on crusty bread. I had done some research a few days before the event to get as much information on this popular event.

   Enjoying sardines

Watching Anthony’s shows made me realize that there are so many stories that are related to gastronomical celebrations and I sought to truly experience more than just the food. The more I learned about the event, the more I appreciated being part of the celebration.

Anthony’s shows truly brought the concept of sharing food to be greater than simple nourishment but a celebration of tradition, history, camaraderie, connection, and joy. I know that his shows, his insights, his approaches and his focus on greater things than the food itself has taught me to truly enjoy traveling and experiencing life with all of my senses and curiosity.

May he rest in peace

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Retired exec consultant who traveled for more than 4 decades, both corporate and leisure. I appreciate my travel experience and want to share tips, photos and stories with readers! I live in Ottawa Canada and have traveled to 31 countries.

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