Chef, popular travel show host, and celebrated food writer Anthony Bourdain died on June 8 in France, where he was shooting an episode for his CNN series, “Parts Unknown.” Across the globe, tributes are being paid, including from the former president of the United States, Barack Obama.
Bourdain enjoyed a successful writing career that took off after his inaugural piece for The New Yorker titled “Don’t Eat Before Reading This.” The essay was a brutally honest telling of the more unsavory aspects of the restaurant industry in America. He then went on to host an extremely popular travel series on television called “No Reservations” that delved deep into the communities he visited.
Most recently, he was in Hong Kong to film one of his career highlights for “Parts Unknown” — as he told CNN’s Anderson Cooper — along with director Asia Argento and Hong Kong-based cinematographer Christopher Doyle (whose work for director Wong Kar-wai’s acclaimed films include “In the Mood for Love”). The show looked at disappearing crafts and food cultures in Hong Kong, and had Doyle as a guest companion as well as cameraman on it.
“The resulting Hong Kong episode is therefore both unlike any other episode,” Bourdain wrote. “But… well… also … historic in the sense that never before has such a heavyweight director of photography lent his efforts to a television travel show. Or a director with three films under her belt, for that matter.”
The result? “We came home with a very nice slice of a great and beautiful and always delicious city, as seen through the eyes of a longtime resident who loves it deeply,” wrote Bourdain.
Thank you, Anthony Bourdain, for shining such a bright light on our city.