The first time I saw Tony was on The Colbert Report. His interview with Stephen made him come across as a badass Ramsey-esque f-bomb loving food writer. About six months after that he was a guest on The Daily Show. That was the point when my interest in this man and his work increased to the point of wishing to devour each and every piece of work I could find with his name on it.
This man’s work is hard to track down here in the UK, but I found enough to be so inspired by him that he has indeed made my year. Here’s why:
He’s a role model for the “late bloomers”.
Tony’s career as “The Man With The Best Job In The World” began in his mid-forties. I’m forty next year and currently have no career to speak of. He inspires me to keep looking for opportunities and never to give up hope.
He helped me to fall in love with food.
I thought I liked food before. Turns out what I really liked was mindlessly shoving any old rubbish in my face until my stomach ballooned and I hated my very existence. His passion for food and his way with words had me searching for similar experiences, and I learned how to truly love what I ate. Before, if you’d asked me to describe the flavours and textures of a recently enjoyed meal, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you. Now, I’ve slowed down. I eat properly, I eat well, and I don’t eat anywhere near as much as I used to because quality is better than quantity.
He helped me lose weight!
Yes, you read that right. Anthony Bourdain, well-known for his love of rich, fatty foods, has helped me to shed over 60lbs in the last year. Not just from re-wiring my appetite, but by fuelling my desire to travel.
He is a gateway drug.
Through watching “No Reservations”, “A Cook’s Tour” and “The Layover” I’ve been introduced to more wonderful people, food and restaurants. The budget for my dream trip to New York City will have to be trebled as I now need to visit Le Bernadin (Eric Ripert’s restaurant), Momofuku (David Chang’s restaurant), Les Halles (the brasserie where Tony is “chef at large”) and Big Gay Ice Cream (home of the Salty Pimp and the Bea Arthur).
And thanks to him, this year I’ve watched Apocalypse Now and bought my first graphic novel (his first graphic novel, “Get Jiro”).
On the off-chance he’s managed to see this post amidst the deluge of tweets he gets daily from his million-plus followers, I’d just like to say…
Thank you. You’ve made my year. Here’s to Parts Unknown and 2013.