In Honor of #BourdainDay

I know this has nothing to do with horror, or true crime, or anything else weird or macabre. But Anthony Bourdain was my hero, my idol, my role model. He lived the life I’d always dreamed of – traveling around the world, getting to try lots of good food and learning so much about the history and cultures that make our world so incredibly rich.

But apparently he didn’t think his life was as great as I did, because he ended it June 8 of last year. Many of his friends and admirers have declared today, his birthday, Bourdain Day.

Of all the things he’s said or written that have inspired me, it was hard to pick one thing. So I chose this clip of him eating noodles in Hanoi with then-President Obama because it perfectly encapsulates what I miss so much about both men, and what I miss so much about our country:

Not that long ago, we had a decent human being in the White House – a Harvard-educated black man who treated his wife and daughters with obvious, authentic love and respect. A man who was not so full of his own self-importance, even as the President of the United States, to sit down at a hole-in-the-wall cafe in Hanoi and eat noodles.

Back then, America participated in the world, and Anthony served as our unofficial ambassador-at-large. He was a foul-mouthed, big-hearted philosopher-chef, equally at home in five-star restaurants in Paris and at street-side taco trucks. He understood the power of food to bring people together. He left us far too soon, because truly, we need him now more than ever.

Rest in Power, brother.

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