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Anthony Bourdain, the host of culinary travelogue Parts Unknown and one of the food world’s biggest voices, has died. He was a father, filmmaker, television host, chef, speaker, educator, and author. To most of the people that knew him or knew of him, Bourdain was simply strikingly, delightfully good with words. Though his focus was within the world of food, he could speak eloquently and powerfully on nearly any topic, from Armenian genocide to working in restaurants to American politics to omelets.

Anthony Bourdain

Here, now, some of his most memorable quotes and quips, from his many television shows, speaking engagements, interviews, and books.

On his surprising success as a TV star: “I assumed from the get-go that every minute I was on television was a freakish anomaly that would be over quickly. It came as a sobering and confusing moment when I realized I was still on the air. What the fuck is going on?”

On traveling, on culture, and on moving: “If I am an advocate for anything, it is to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. Walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food. It’s a plus for everybody.”

On dining with Obama“I’ve never seen someone enjoy a cold beer on a little plastic stool more than President Obama.”

On eggs: “An egg in anything makes it better.”

On his life philosophy: “Life is complicated. It’s filled with nuance. It’s unsatisfying… If I believe in anything, it is doubt. The root cause of all life’s problems is looking for a simple fucking answer.”

On why he quit smoking: “I mean, I’ve had more time on this Earth than I probably deserve, and I enjoy cigarettes very much, but now I feel that I owe this child who loves me to at least try to live a little longer, you know?”

On his work: “I have the best job in the world. If I’m unhappy, it’s a failure of imagination.”

On learning to cook: “Basic cooking skills are a virtue… the ability to feed yourself and a few others with proficiency should be taught to every young man and woman as a fundamental skill. [It’s] as vital to growing up as learning to wipe one’s own ass, cross the street by oneself, or be trusted with money.”

On humanity: “I’m not that optimistic [about] the human race…

“Without experimentation, a willingness to ask questions and try new things, we shall surely become static, repetitive, and moribund.”


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The spookier corners of Japanese folklore serve as the inspiration for Hungry Ghosts, a four-part comic book series from TV star/author Anthony Bourdain and novelist Joel Rose. This is the same duo that created the epic graphic novel Get Jiro! about master chefs who rule as crime bosses in a not-too-distant future where people literally kill to get tables at the best restaurants. If you enjoyed the kitchen nightmares of Get Jiro!, then Hungry Ghosts might be right up your alley. Here’s a rundown of what to expect from this series.

hungry ghosts anthony bourdain

Killer art
If you’re a fan of stylized comic book violence (think Raw meets Lady Snowblood), then you’re in for a treat. Joining Bourdain and Rose in issue one are artists Alberto Ponticelli (Unknown Soldier, Dial H) and Vanesa Del Rey (Bitch Planet, Redlands). Issue two features the work of Leonardo Manco (Hellblazer) and Mateus Santolouco (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). These artists further amplify the horror element in each story with their wonderfully grotesque art. There’s also the amazing color by José Villarrubia, whose saturated reds pop off the page. Raw flesh, both human and animal, never looked more nauseating.

And let’s not forget Paul Pope’s covers, one of which features an onryō hunched over a bowl of tonkotsu ramen while she stares deep into your soul. The style is very reminiscent of the 19th century ukiyo-e woodblock prints by rival artists Utagawa Kuniyoshi and Utagawa Kunisada. Surely, some readers will consider this issue a collectible worth framing.

The Bourdain twist
In addition to featuring awesome art, Hungry Ghosts is full of great stories. The main plotline revolves around a Russian oligarch who is hosting a party at his beach house on Long Island. As the night grows darker and stormier, he and his rich cronies get bored, so he invites the chefs working in his kitchen to play a version of 100 candles, an old game in which brave samurai would try to one-up each other with terrifying tales of ghosts, demons, and unspeakable beings. This take on the Japanese Edo-period game gets the Bourdain touch with chef-storytellers telling tales about food and hunger.



Walk into your favorite grocery outlet. Look around at all the food for sale. Then, imagine dumping a third of it in the garbage.

That’s how much food experts say we discard every day. While some will be composted, most of it is headed for landfills. Sustainability activists have fretted about this for years, but concerns about wasted food are now going mainstream. Case in point: on Oct. 13, Anthony Bourdain, host and writer of CNN’s travel/foodie show Parts Unknown, debuted Wasted, the feature-length documentary about food waste, in theaters and online.

“Over the last 24 months, more shoppers are concerned about unused food,” said Laurie Demeritt, CEO of The Hartman Group, a market research consultancy. “In conversations, they’ll bring up the issue of food waste unaided.”

A few major marketers, such as Anheuser-Busch InBev and Quaker Oats, are scrambling to get ahead of the trend. Simultaneously, a handful of startups are peddling products that not only reduce waste, but use surplus food in their offering, with names like “Misfit” and “Ugly.”

This is just the beginning.

Big Food will inevitably feel pressure to address food waste, but they’ll find themselves in a tricky situation, according to Allen Adamson, founder and CEO of BrandSimple Consulting. “For major food and beverage marketers, anti-waste marketing initiatives will not drive brand preference, but companies have to protect themselves from ending up as the poster child for the problem. So they will [be forced] to invest in an area they’ve never invested in before,” he said.

Quaker Oats approached the issue with an online recipe contest in September. Called “More Taste, Less Waste,” the brand partnered with the James Beard Foundation and chef Marco Canora to challenge professional chefs to provide recipes that used oats and “rescued food,” such as onion and garlic skins. Consumers then voted online for their favorite recipe. “We saw the conversation growing about the food waste epidemic,” said Jessica Spaulding, senior marketing director of Quaker Foods North America. “This is more than a passing trend. As a nutrition brand, our contest was an opportunity to raise awareness and inspire solutions.”

Read more at AdWeek:

Taking a lively approach to an increasingly serious 21st century issue, the skillfully assembled documentary “Wasted! The Story of Food Waste” proves as eye-opening as it is mouth-watering.

Although host-narrator Anthony Bourdain glibly professes his initial reluctance to take part in the proactive project because, “I don’t even know that we deserve to live,” the culinary superstar proceeds to introduce a number of fellow chef advocates devoted to addressing the 90% of food waste that ends up in landfill.

They include the genial Dan Barber, who is finding ways to better utilize the entire landscape of a farm, incorporating tasty cauliflower leaves and immature vegetables on menus rather than tossing them in dumpsters.

Meanwhile, Tristram Stuart, a global authority on food waste, brews Toast Pale Ale from neglected end crusts of sandwich bread, while chef-restaurateur Mario Batali discovers succulent “trash” fish that deserve a place at the table alongside the ubiquitous salmon/shrimp/cod/tuna.

Fully realizing that a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, filmmakers Anna Chai and Nari Kye season their thoroughly enlightening eco-primer with a generous sprinkling of levity provided by colorful graphics and the acerbic Bourdain, who really lets loose in the end-credits outtakes.

With Oscar the Grouch’s “I Love Trash” providing the perfect end note, “Wasted!” will likely have you cracking open that crisper drawer with a newfound sense of obligation.

from The LA Times: