It wasn’t the oysters

I felt like I have a lot to say about how Anthony Bourdain’s writing influences me — I do not cook much but I do enjoy a very good meal and trying out new ones — but I haven’t been feeling eloquent so I’m re-reading A Cook’s Tour. This page especially hits me hard.

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Social media, as the amplify of issues and stories, a tool for connection and solidarity, was bursting with individual stories of how Bourdain has affected their lives in one way or another — on how his genuine passion for food and humanity reignited others, how his passing inspires other to more take an interest in labour issues within the food industry, his stance on Palestine issues, how he uses his platform to cover countries long dehumanised by mass media and political conflicts, how he weaved political education into food culture, his embodiment of decolonial allyship through food culture, his advocacy for Weinstein’s victims —  and the least you could do to honour him, is to celebrate what he lived for through curiosity, adventure, and learning and trying out new things.

As Bourdain passed, several discussions popped up regarding mental health awareness — a tale as old as time — especially since Bourdain’s passing was just a couple of days after Kate Spade’s. As everyone has been passing along numbers of suicide prevention hotlines and urging people to check on each other (separate discussion is needed on to the extent of this action — because face it, caring for someone with mental illness requires a huge amount of mental labour and it is not something everyone is equipped for and when it should be an area for professionals) , we need to agree they were just merely a step.

It is heartbreaking to think that he will not return from the parts unknown this time. Good night, Tony.

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