Remembering Anthony Bourdain: 11 Of His Best Moments

From eating raw blood soup to championing the #MeToo movement, we look at Bourdain's best moments.


Vinnie Mancuso |

The world lost a grand connoisseur, thoughtful philanthropist and Emmy-winning host in an apparent suicide on Friday. He was 61 years old. Anthony Bourdain inspired the globe through his best-selling books and world travel. The remarkably fit Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighter was a clear-cut kind of guy, especially when it came to food and politics. MH remembers eleven of the celebrity chef’s most remarkable moments.

Related: Anthony Bourdain Tells Us How He Got Abs At 61

“Don’t Eat Before Reading This”

“Good food, good eating, is all about blood and organs, cruelty and decay…” with that, the opening words of his eye-opening, tell-all gross-out feature for The New Yorker in 1999, Anthony Bourdain was sky-rocketed into the limelight.

When He Ate Raw Blood Soup In Thailand

What made Bourdain a special travel host is that he never said no to a dish, but never looked down on a custom or culture, either. He gladly ate soup made from blood, and found it tasted better than he expected. Simple as that.

When ‘No Reservation’ Got Trapped In Beirut

Bourdain was filming No Reservations in Beirut, Lebanon, when the Israel-Lebanon conflict broke out, trapping the host and his film crew in the country. “My crew and I are sitting there emptying the mini bar and the airport blows up,” he later explained.

The resulting Emmy-winning episode is one of the most surreal chapters of TV ever made, and probably the best example of the way Bourdain’s food shows were always about so much more than food.

His Words On The Waffle House

One of Bourdain’s great talents was using his thoughts on food to articulate something bigger about life. A great example is his trip to American institution, Waffle House, where “everybody, regardless of race, creed, colour, or degree of inebriation is welcomed.”

When He Championed The #MeToo Movement

“In these current circumstances, one must pick a side. I stand unhesitatingly and unwaveringly with the women,” Bourdain wrote in a Medium post. “Not out of virtue, or integrity, or high moral outrage  –  as much as I’d like to say so  –  but because late in life, I met one extraordinary woman with a particularly awful story to tell, who introduced me to other extraordinary women with equally awful stories. I am grateful to them for their courage, and inspired by them.”

When He Got Schooled By A Karate Master In Okinawa

“Apparently they don’t know what tapping out means here,” Bourdain said during a Parts Unknown stop in Japan. “Because I was tapping like Western f******* Union.”

When he got shredded using Brazilian jiu-jitsu

“It’s…the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” Bourdain told us just last year. “Getting my blue belt was easily the most difficult accomplishment of my life.”

When He Told Alec Baldwin He Was “too dumb to pour piss out of a boot”

When Alec Baldwin made a comment on the #MeToo movement, Bourdain gave him some advice. The world is certainly worse-off place without Anthony Bourdain in it.

When He Re-evaluated His Entire Legacy

During a dynamic interview with Slate, Bourdain wrestled with his own past as the “bad boy” restauranteur in the wake of #MeToo, especially his break-out book Kitchen Confidential.

“I’ve had to ask myself, and I have been for some time, ‘To what extent in that book did I provide validation to meatheads?'” he said.

When He Revealed He Was A Huge Movie Nerd

After catching flack for his less-than-positive review of Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver – a tweet that simply said “f*** Baby Driver” – Bourdain called up Daily Grindhouse while nursing a Negroni hangover to dive deep on heist films.

“I’m such a film nerd and I’m constantly saying, ‘I want this episode to look like… ‘ and I’ll mention some obscure film and chances are they haven’t seen it,” he said, about his travel show’s crew. “But it’s like, you went to film school for fuck’s sake.”

Director. Actor. Pioneer. Ida Lupino

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When He Expertly Revealed The Best Way To Serve Marijuana

“I will tell you, with authority, that the perfect delivery system for marijuana, particularly good marijuana, is a joint,” Bourdain said during a 2011 Q&A.

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