I hate death. I don't think about it and I definitely don't look forward to it. Sadly, it's part of this thing we call "life". For some it comes early and for others, it comes way too late. I believe that life should be enjoyed until you can't anymore. Once I hit pain, please kill me. I'm not trying to have machines keeping me alive. My heart keeps me alive and if it gives up, I give up too.
You know we always talk about Miami. That's what this blog is for: Have an open dialogue about Miami, it's people, how we communicate, why we communicate and how we can make it better (together!). I've steered off into different directions when I think it's necessary. Today, it's a new level of necessary. If we don't talk about this man, his achievements and how he changed the culinary world, we would be kidding ourselves.
Anthony Bourdain, also known as Tony. If you haven't heard, he committed suicide last night in a hotel room in Strasbourg, France. Strasbourg is part of the North East province, right on the border of Germany. Once I saw the news, I got goosebumps. As I'm writing this I'm getting goosebumps. Tony changed my life. His book, Kitchen Confidential, as well as his show "Parts Unknown" were instrumental in who I am today. He showed me the world as it is, in his eyes. I couldn't be more grateful.
Tony did great things. I'm not going to bore you with his background too much. He grew up in shitty circumstances. Struggling to get by, Tony turned to drugs. Heroin, cocaine, and a bunch of alcohol used to be his driving force. It's obviously not the best mix. Did it lead to his death? It might've, but one can argue that it made him the man he was. His life experiences, which there are countless of, made him see things in a new light. Especially food.
In his 61 years of living, Bourdain wrote and was part of 45 books, had multiple tv shows as well as working in over 20 restaurants. If that doesn't impress you, what will?
More than being a celebrity chef, Tony brought together the world. His attitude towards food and people were like non-other. His willingness to try new things, experiment and do whatever the fuck he had to for the people were like non-other. Tony shouldn't be remembered as a chef, he's an ambassador of food, culture, and people. He realized the influence of food in culture and was the first, in my opinion, to use it to unite the world. Something so powerful that we owe the culinary scene in Miami, and abroad, to him. Rest in peace you beautiful fucking maniac.
Editor's Note: Tony's suicide is tragic. He's one of hundreds of thousands committing suicide each year (even though each case is different). The US has seen suicide rates increase by 25% over nearly two decades. Twenty-five states have experienced a rise in suicides by more than 30%. Not only is this worrying, it tells us something about our society. Are the suicide rates as high in Europe? Asia? South America? We need to think about this. Guns are killing people and have become a huge national debate. Why isn't mental health? Mental health is killing people. We can't blame mental health on individuals. It's a disease we all deal with, even though we don't admit it.
*How to get help: In the US, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The International Association for Suicide Prevention and Befrienders Worldwide also can provide contact information for crisis centers around the world.*