We all love and miss Anthony Bourdain, and while some of us are leafing through World Travel: An Irreverent Guide, others of us are waiting to check out the documentary Roadrunner when it debuts in its wide-release later this week. If you’re reminiscing about the legend and need something to read, The New Yorker has rounded up four pieces involving Bourdain, including his debut essay in the magazine all the way back in 1999.
The essay, titled “Don’t Eat Before Reading This,” is one that would eventually become a chapter in his memoir, Kitchen Confidential, which changed the entire course of his career. This is where he famously advised his readers never to order seafood on Monday: the weekend order arrives on Friday and then there are usually no more deliveries until Tuesday. “Chances are,” he wrote, “that the Monday-night tuna you want has been kicking around in the kitchen since Friday morning, under God knows what conditions.” If you’ve never read it, stop and read it right now. You will never want to go to brunch ever again.
Another piece, called “Anthony Bourdain’s Moveable Feast,” by Patrick Radden Keefe, zig-zags through the state of Bourdain’s career up to 2017, heavily featuring the surprise sit-down meal he shared with Barack Obama during the Hanoi episode of Parts Unknown, in and of itself a remarkable feat of television production. Getting an interview with the President of the United States must already be difficult, but sitting down for a whole meal was probably even harder to score.
Then there’s an obituary by Helen Rosner, titled “Anthony Bourdain and the Power of Telling the Truth,” which delved into his late-in-life embrace of activism, especially the #MeToo movement. And finally, if you miss the sound of his voice listen to this podcast episode from 2017 when he spoke to David Remnick about his life and career.