Anthony Bourdain ate 'the perfect food' on the final episode of 'Parts Unknown'
In the wake of a beloved artist's death (especially if there's an element of self infliction to that death), it's far from uncommon for people to look upon their latest big work, and try to find a sense of meaning in what would be that final artist's contribution.
Heath Ledger's untimely passing in 2008 elevated the Dark Knight to legendary status, while Kurt Cobain's performance in Nirvana's fabled MTV: Unplugged in 1994 has been gone over with a fine-toothed comb, as plenty of people tried to look at these artists' lives through the grey-coloured lens of their death.
To that end, it's no surprise that plenty of eyes focused on Anthony Bourdain's final episode of Parts Unknown, looking for one last bit of knowledge from the celebrated food writer and personality.
Episode seven of the 12th season of Parts Unknown aired this past Sunday. Ahead of the series finale, CNN announced that the episode Bourdain was filming when he took his own life at age 61 in Kaysersberg, France on June 8 of this year would not be aired, so the final episode instead featured Bourdain exploring his native New York City.
"The final original episode of Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown will be the Lower East Side, airing on November 11 2018. After Anthony Bourdain’s tragic passing on June 8, it was determined by CNN and the series’ production company Zero Point Zero, that we would honor the work with a final season."
"This is a show about a very special place," Bourdain says in Parts Unknown's final episode.
"A very special time. And some very special people. So much happened—so much began—on New York’s Lower East Side... the Lower East Side was in many ways the cradle of New York. Where new arrivals settled, built communities, and moved on, only to be replaced by others."
Meeting with various artists and musicians from all over the Big Apple, Bourdain visited people like Kembra Pfahler, Blondie singer Debbie Harry, musician Harley Flanagan and artist Joe Coleman, but it was a meeting with his friend John Lurie that produced perhaps the most poignant moment of the Parts Unknown finale.
Now, I'm sure that on his various travels, Anthony Bourdain sampled a wide range of weird but wonderful food from all four corners of the globe. But when his friend John Lurie produced a simple dish of hardboiled eggs for Bourdain to eat, the reaction from the 61-year-old was very unexpected for some.
The old friends talked about all of "the friends who didn't make it", before in the last scene, Bourdain ate the eggs given to him by his friend. "I am grateful and honored, eggs, the perfect food" he said to John Lurie, before he touched briefly on his battle with addiction. "I came for heroin and I came for music," Bourdain explained.
This was the final huge moment in Bourdain's final show, and ending on a montage set to You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory by the Johnny Thunders, Parts Unknown ended, and with it, the curtain closed on a food icon's final performance.