Anthony Bourdain is dead.
It hurts me...a lot...and I didn't even know him.
And yet, I feel, I did know him.
His books changed me. They changed my outlook on life. They altered the way I see food. They affected my relationship with the world. Seriously. His writing - and his shows - became a significant part of how I connect with others...and how food is more than just nourishment. How cooking could (and should) be more a spiritual experience than a chore. How the world is aching to be tasted - not just with the tongue but with the soul.
...and I never met him...
I can only imagine the pain inside those who DID know him...those who knew him well. Chefs. Nigella Lawson. Marcus Samuelsson. Eric Ripert. The guys from Joe Beef. Alton. Ludo. Alex. Zimmern. Andres. Sanchez...the list is endless. The tributes, the words, the stories are overwhelming in sincerity and emotion.
I could sit and wonder all day what would make him leave this mortal coil - abandon his friends, family, relationship with the world that surrounds him. Part of me wonders, as my wife mentioned, "Maybe the darkness of the world finally got to him. The negativity that seems to be growing day by day." He fought against it. He worked to shine a light on issues and places that are overlooked, underappreciated and misunderstood. He sought to brighten the lives of those he met, those whose food he ingested, savoured and relished.
And now he's gone.
And the world seems even darker now.