Restaurant owner reveals how Anthony Bourdain changed his life
Earlier this week, we heard the tragic news that Anthony Bourdain had died, having taken his own life in a France hotel room on Friday. The world mourned the death of the legendary chef, author and documentarian, with various tributes being shared across social media.
Bourdain was not only a man who changed culture, but someone who touched many lives during his.
On Twitter, he received heartfelt tributes from the likes of Barack Obama, Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver and Chrissy Teigen. "He taught us about food - but more importantly, about its ability to bring us together," the former President wrote. "To make us a little less afraid of the unknown. We'll miss him."
Bourdain's partner, Asia Argento, also came forward to speak about the man she has lost. The 42-year-old Italian actress and director began dating Bourdain two years ago, and in the years since he said she had enlightened him on matters of social justice, eventually becoming a firm proponent of the Me Too and Time's Up movements following the allegations levelled at Harvey Weinstein.
Argento shared a brief statement with the world later that day, which read:
"Anthony gave all of himself in everything that he did. His brilliant, fearless spirit touched and inspired so many, and his generosity knew no bounds. He was my love, my rock, my protector.
"I am beyond devastated. My thoughts are with this family. I would ask that you respect their privacy and mine."
It appears that Bourdain's work and life has affected many in the world, and not just those who he had close relationships with. In various shows he would help to promote the work of those who he believed deserved more, completely changing their lives in the process.
In a heartwarming Twitter thread, one restaurant owner has come forward to speak about how Bourdain changed his life for the better. Jason Wang, the CEO of Xi-an Famous Foods, thanked the chef and explained how Bourdain and his show 'No Reservations' played a major role in their success.
The pair first met back in 2007, when Bourdain arrived unannounced with a film crew to their restaurant. Soon enough, Bourdain had fallen in love with their lamb burgers, deciding to feature them on his Travel Channel show. All this media attention led to a massive surge in interest in their store, as Wang writes.
"I remember years later in 2015 after interviewing together for an article, I approached Tony and told him, while he may have no idea what he has done for our family and business by simply saying he enjoyed the food, I wanted him to know it helped bring our family out from living in one room in Flushing to living the American dream.
"We were able to grow our business and provide great food for our guests, and opportunities for our employees. I looked at him in the eyes and said, this is something we will always be thankful for, Tony.
"And he simply replied, "I'm just calling out good food like it is, that's all.""
Capitalising on this newfound popularity, Wang grew his business exponentially, opening various new locations. He believes he owes much of his success to Bourdain, who spent a large portion of his career spotlighting emerging restaurants, using his platform to boost independent establishments.
In memory of the man that changed his life, Wang donated 100% of their net sales from Friday to The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
While the world is still reeling from the loss of Anthony Bourdain, it's important to take note of the many lives he changed during his time on Earth.