In the early hours of June 25, fans and celebrities paid tribute to Anthony Bourdain on his birthday to honor his legacy. Bourdain, a revered chef, author, and travel personality, died by suicide in June 2018 in France. His passing sent shockwaves across various communities. To commemorate what would have been his 63rd birthday, Bourdain’s loved ones and fans have officially marked June 25 as Bourdain Day.
The revered chef rose to fame after authoring several books such as A Cook’s Tour, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, and much more. He’s also hosted various award-winning travel food series, such as the Travel Channel’s Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations and CNN’s Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, where he masterfully bridged the gap across cultures with nuanced explorations of the locations he inhabited.
On his birthday, Bourdain’s closest friends, chefs Éric Ripert and José Andrés, are calling on fans to honor the late chef a year after his death. On Twitter, Andrés wrote, “@ericripert and I celebrating #BourdainDay in Singapore at @KEK chili crab paradise restaurant with beers, chili crab and friends! Post your videos celebrating #BourdainDay @RoadsKingdoms join us! People@of the World!”
Ripert later added on Twitter, “A true Legend... Anthony, my Dear friend... Happy Birthday! The world wishes you Peace & Love on your journey.”
Following Andrés and Ripert's call to action, it didn’t take long for loved ones, colleagues, and fans to share their own homages through photos, the late-chef’s insightful quotes, and more heartfelt thoughts.
Chef and author Padma Lakshmi honored her late friend with an old photo. She wrote, “Some heroes don’t wear capes... we miss your wit, my friend.”
Journalist Christiane Amanpour honored her CNN colleague with a video. “Hi Tony. It’s Christiane saying ‘Happy Birthday’ from London,” Amanpour says in the Twitter clip. “When I think of you, as the t-shirt says, I choose love. Love for all the fabulous places, the food, the friendships that you’ve brought us to. And especially, love for all the differences you’ve encouraged to celebrate. And Tony, love for you.”
TV personality and chef Rachael Ray shared a photo with the late chef and wrote, “I’m so grateful for a day in honor of a man I respected very deeply. He was cool and brilliant. Over the years we found common ground through humor, music and food. I miss his wit and presence. Singular man.”
In a lengthy thread by CNN, Bourdain’s friends and colleagues reflected on what they learned from late chef. The thread featured testimonials from chefs Alex Guarnaschelli, Andrew Zimmern, Gail Simmons, Geoffrey Zakarian, Marcus Samuelsson, Hugh Acheson, and Ashley Christensen.
“He reminded a lot of people to get out there and live and try,” Christensen says in a video. “Try wild, new things and how that can dial back in to who we are as people and the experiences; not just that we provide for others but that we provide for ourselves.”
Finally, Bourdain’s ex-wife Ottavia Busia shared the sweetest tribute of all with a throwback clip of the late chef with their daughter, Ariane. In the video, the two share a laugh-filled moment in a pool.
Prior to Bourdain Day, Ripert and Andrés took to social media on June 19 to announce the launch of the Anthony Bourdain Legacy Scholarship at the Culinary Institute of America. The scholarship will “assist students to undertake journeys of their own and to take advantage of international exposure programs as a part of their education,” according to the website.
With Bourdain Day and the Anthony Bourdain Legacy Scholarship, the late-chef's legacy will certainly live on.