I'm still kind of reeling from hearing the news of Anthony Bourdain's death by suicide while in Paris working on a food show for CNN.
A tragic waste of a huge talent.
Some friends of mine here met him on several occasions when he was in town. They all said that he was very funny and generous. I feel just awful for his daughter who along with some of her girlfriends collaborated with her father on a cookbook. She must be devastated. Words fail in situations like these. I do so wish he had sought help before taking such a drastic measure. Who knows what could have taken him to such a dark place. I suspect that alcohol may have been a culprit which unfortunately many turn to in vain when depressed and it backfires on them.
Oh, how perfect to put this into "After Dinner", Casimira. When I saw the news this morning, I thought about putting it into "An Artist Has Died", as people who are artists in their fields need to be acknowledged.
His suicide coming so soon after that of Kate Spade didn't make it more shocking, but it certainly kept the mind turned towards how people who seem to have it all might be suffering inside.
I did dither a wee about where to post it and yes it did seem to fit going here. Thanks for the validation.
I started to write that I couldn't wrap my head around the chosen method both these tragedies were played out in. I have to question my first words that came to mind and how my stream of consciousness went in the direction that it did. Regardless. I can't help but think of the selfishness that is indicative of how really, really, dark a place one has to be in to know that someone is going to find them in this way, in this case a good friend and colleague as is the case most all the time when this happens. Surely the image will forever be etched in this poor man's mind.
He was a bit off my radar although I was vaguely familiar with the name. We already have so many celebrity chefs and "food experts" in France that there is no way that it would be possible to pay attention to all of the ones who work in other countries. Even people like Jamie Oliver are relatively unknown here.
I do know that he did this in Strasbourg, though -- not Paris. Not that it probably makes any difference, except that he almost certainly knew a lot more people in Paris whereas in Strasbourg he would not have been soliicited the same way. Then again, being world famous and suddenly not being automatically recognised must be a blow for some people as much as it is a relief for certain others.
casimira, in Bourdain's case, he had multiple addictions - alcohol, tobacco, heroin, cocaine and other substances. It seemed that he had been living a cleaner life in recent years but I guess the underlying mental-health issues remained. You seem familiar with restaurant work - there seems to be a macho ethos about that stuff and working hard, partying hard, and being a bit of an arsehole. I remember when that was very much the case in journalism and related fields - the younger generations seem to have a more healthy attitude.
Of course I've heard of him but I tend to avoid reading about such people. His death will certainly affect a great many people in the field, and in his network of family and friends.
A local food writer explains why Bourdain was actually interesting, under the macho bluster. If I was hard on him, it is probably because he reminds me of a well-known writer (also dead too young) whose behaviour was very hard on some of my relatives.
He had cleaned up his act but once an addict always an addict and if he suffered from depression he may have relapsed or was attempting to self medicate as is often the case and as I posted earlier on, this may have backfired on him. Also, all too common a feature in persons with major depression disorders. From there, all reason goes out the window.
I was so delighted to read in one off our dailies here in NOLA that a café founded some years back, Café Reconcile, has named a po-boy sandwich after Mr. Bordain.(shrimp, bacon, bleu cheese and fresh tomatoes). Bourdain was one of the financial benefactors of this café which recruits hundreds of young people who lack education or employment history and trains them in life skills and workforce development while putting them in touch with social services to address other issues such as homelessness at the same time. Bourdain supported the cafe's mission financially and promoted the café in a variety of ways. He devoted many segments on TV and visited quite often. He referred to the café as a "second chance, a place where anyone can remake themselves".
A friend of mine who was the original manager and helped to get the café up and running told me what a generous and funny guy he was and truly loved sharing all that he knew with the young people he encountered and in turn, these young persons positively worshipped him.