12 Ways Anthony Bourdain Changed Food Culture Forever
The world mourned the tragic passing of Anthony Bourdain, the chef, author, TV personality, and culinary guru who took viewers on an extraordinary journey through the cuisines and cultures of the world. He’s a man who was known for telling it like it is. Bourdain changed preconceptions and broke down barriers the world over. The restaurant world won’t be the same without his unique perspective.
Ahead, discover how Anthony Bourdain changed food culture forever.
There’s no room for ego
The famed chef has dined on the fanciest meals in the finest restaurant around the globe, but Bourdain was best known for never hesitating to share a simple meal with a stranger. He encouraged tourists to seek out local cuisine to get the true taste of the region.
Next: This aspect of food doesn’t matter.
Food doesn’t have to be pretty
Instagram culture may dictate that looks matter more than taste, but Bourdain realized that sometimes the most delicious dishes were far from attractive. He told Food & Wine, “some of the most inherently delicious food has been pickled, butchered, braised, stewed, and/or charred in a way that maximizes flavor, visual appeal be damned.”
Next: Here’s when you should be reckless.
It’s good to take risks
Of course you know what you like to eat. But when it comes to experiencing all the culinary delights of the world, you’ll need to try something new if you want to expand your horizons.
“I’ve long believed that good food, good eating, is all about risk. Whether we’re talking about unpasteurized Stilton, raw oysters or working for organized crime ‘associates,’ food, for me, has always been an adventure,” Bourdain wrote in his bestseller Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly.
Next: This advice isn’t true anymore.
Yes, you can eat fish on Mondays
Before he was a household name, Bourdain wrote an essay for the New Yorker exposing some of the restaurant world’s trade secrets. In it, he instructs people to avoid ordering fish on Mondays because they’d likely be getting leftovers from the weekend instead of a fresh catch.
Things are different now, and as he told Business Insider, and Bourdain wishes people would stop using that old quote. “It’s almost two decades later. Things have changed,” he said.
Next: Here’s the best way to find great food.
Follow the locals
Looking for the local hotspot? Forget guide books and eat where the locals dine.
“If a place is crowded, but the people lining up are not local, that’s a clue—a bad clue,” Bourdain told Bon Appetit. “If it doesn’t have signs in English, it’s almost always worth investigating.”
Next: This is the surprising thing about great food.
Cheap doesn’t always mean gross
Expensive food can be delicious, but cheap food can be just as good. One of Anthony Bourdain’s favorite places was the now-defunct Hot Doug’s in Chicago. They did serve foie gras hot dogs, but they did it on paper plates. The options there were affordable for anyone.
Next: Here’s the universal truth about restaurant food.
Embrace the butter
If you ever go out to eat, just know that you’re probably eating way more butter than you usually do at home. As Bourdain wrote in his tell-all article, “In the world of chefs … butter is in everything.” The only way to avoid it? Cook everything yourself.
Next: Strive for food like this.
Fresh is best
Like many chefs and foodies, Anthony Bourdain believed in fresh ingredients over processed. “Avoid at all costs that vile spew you see rotting in oil in screwtop jars. Too lazy to peel fresh? You don’t deserve to eat garlic,” he wrote in Kitchen Confidential.
Next: This was the one meal Bourdain despised.
Brunch can be a real rip-off
Bourdain had strong opinions that he wasn’t afraid to say out loud. One thing he couldn’t stand? Brunch.
“[Cooks] despise hollandaise, home fries, those pathetic fruit garnishes, and all the other cliché accompaniments designed to induce a credulous public into paying $12.95 for two eggs. You can dress brunch up with all the focaccia, smoked salmon, and caviar in the world, but it’s still breakfast,” he wrote in the New Yorker.
Next: Here are skill everyone needs.
Learning how to cook is essential
One life skill Bourdain insists is important for everyone: learning to cook. “I do think the idea that basic cooking skills are a virtue, that the ability to feed yourself and a few others with proficiency should be taught to every young man and woman as a fundamental skill, should become as vital to growing up as learning to wipe one’s own [butt], cross the street by oneself, or be trusted with money,” he said.
Next: This type of food is the best.
Simple meals can be life-changing
Anthony Bourdain enjoyed some of the fanciest dishes in the world, but to him, quality food didn’t have to be fussy. “Good food is very often, even most often, simple food,” he wrote.
Next: Eating isn’t always about eating.
Eating isn’t always about food
The act of sharing a meal is so much more than just enjoying good food. As Bourdain wrote, “Meals make the society, hold the fabric together in lots of ways that were charming and interesting and intoxicating to me. The perfect meal, or the best meals, occur in a context that frequently has very little to do with the food itself.”
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