My name’s Mike and I’m an American Expat living in Germany.
I’ve got an overdue tribute to give to a man that I’m sure you’ve heard about.
A man who suplexed the food industry on its head long before the likes of Salt Bae or Action Bronson.
A man who didn’t get his big break until the age of 44, a grateful yet un- apologetically honest man who once said
” If I walk into a room where everyone agrees with me, I find that frightening , dismaying and boring as fuck”
His name is Anthony Bourdain and I hold him up in my trio of heroes alongside Bruce Lee and Dave Chappelle.
So how did he get up there?
At 12 years old I stumbled upon my dad glued to the show ” No Reservations”.
At the time, I walked away puzzled by the show’s cynical host and exotic meals.
As a teenager I came around: I began to envy Bourdain’s lifestyle, travel and exploration.
My family and I embraced the idea of experiencing culture through food.
As a young adult, I read Anthony’s memoir: Kitchen Confidential.
From that book, I learned that the man had spent years sweating his ass off in front of stoves around the world.
He had been fired many times before he ever shot a single travel documentary.
Today, I’m looking to show some appreciation to the man who unknowingly shaped my appetite for adventure and discourse.
Of course he taught me that eating isnt just something you do 3, or even 4 times a day but rather a way to learn about another person.
The man showed us all that you can be a sarcastic dick while still being sincere and kind.
Most importantly, Bourdain had the ability to walk out of a foreign village, bar or restaurant and convey the nuances of another people in a non-judgemental way.
Today everyone is fighting over the microphone. While it’s great to speak, few people know how to truly listen.
Fewer still can express another’s perspective in the way that Bourdain did so effortlessly.
I wont pretend like I understand why he took his life. But what I will say is that his example has led me through various stages of my own life to savor the delicious, hold hands weird and value the experience of living life from another point of view.
Cheers uncle Tony, rest in peace and thank you for living so fearlessly.
Check out the Hillsborough Music Festival in New Jersey on August 4th from noon-8 pm. Enjoy live music and raise funds for mental health resiliency in children and young adults!
Michael Du is originally from New Jersey but is now living in Germany to pursue his Master’s degree in Sustainable Resource Management. He is a fan of cooking/ eating, mma, denim button downs, movies, outdoor activities, singing in the shower and pulp in his OJ. Along with the help of a few friends, he created this website for your personal enjoyment.