Obama’s Tribute to Anthony Bourdain Captures Exactly Why the Chef Was So Loved

“He taught us about food—but more importantly, about its ability to bring us together.”

U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with Anthony Bourdain after visiting with him in Hanoi, Vietnam in May 2016.Carolyn Kaster/AP

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

On Friday, as the nation mourned the death of chef, writer, and travel show host Anthony Bourdain, former president Barack Obama took to Twitter to express condolences. Recalling a moment he shared with Bourdain in Vietnam’s capital—”low plastic stool, cheap but delicious noodles, cold Hanoi beer,” Obama wrote, “This is how I’ll remember Tony.”

Obama dined with Bourdain on a 2016 episode of the TV host’s CNN show, Parts Unknown, where the two met at a restaurant in Hanoi. Recalling the experience for CNN, Bourdain wrote, “I can tell you that Barack Obama was, in spite of having had a high-ranking leader of the Taliban whacked in Pakistan a few days previous, very relaxed and at ease.”

Bourdain was found dead in his hotel room in France on Friday morning. He was 61. “He taught us about food—but more importantly, about its ability to bring us together. To make us a little less afraid of the unknown. We’ll miss him,” Obama wrote on Twitter.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate