The late Anthony Bourdain was hailed for his vast knowledge and love of food. The beloved chef, author and TV personality inspired and helped many restaurants on their road to success with his Emmy award-winning shows Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown and Anthony Bourdain:No Reservations. If he happened to stop by your eatery and went on record as saying he loved what he ate, chances were your restaurant was bound to be successful going forward due to his seal of approval. As People reports, this was the case for a New York restaurant who’s CEO honored Bourdain’s memory by donating all of the restaurant’s profits on Friday to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Jason Wang is the CEO and son of Xi’an Famous Foods founder located in Flushing, New York. The local eatery was featured in an episode of No Reservations in 2007, which aired on the Travel Channel. By stopping by the family-owned restaurant, Bourdain, unbeknownst to him at the time, changed the Wangs’ lives forever. At the time, Wang was in college and had no idea who Anthony Bourdain was, but he would never forget him afterward. He posted a lengthy tribute to the chef on his restaurant’s Instagram page.
Today's a day of extreme sadness for us here at Xi'an Famous Foods. I've lost a dear friend today, and we mourn with the rest of the world. I remember the time in 2007 when Tony first visited our basement food stall in Flushing for Travel Channel's No Reservations while I was still in college (even though I didn't know who he was at the time). I remember my father preparing interesting off-menu dishes to get his opinion on when he visited our store. 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." In honor of his memory and all of those dear people who left us all too early, and in taking whatever action we can to prevent suicide in the US, Xi'an Famous Foods will be donating 100% of our net sales on June 8, 2018, from all of our stores, to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK @800273talk. Please cherish all of our lives and help those who may be struggling. Rest in peace, Tony, and the most sincere condolences to Tony's beloved family. ~Jason Wang, CEO
In the post, Wang recounted the time he came face-to-face with Bourdain again for an interview in 2015.
“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.”
Highlighting his modest and humble character, Wang says Bourdain responded with a simple, “I’m just calling out good food like it is, that’s all”.
The world woke up Friday morning to the devastating news that Anthony Bourdain was dead at 61-years-old. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the CNN host of Parts Unknown, was found in his hotel room in France by his good friend, Eric Ripert. The two were on location in France shooting a new episode for his Emmy-award winning series. Unfortunately, the cause of death was determined as suicide.
Many celebrities have shared their heartbreak on social media including Top Chef host and judge, Padma Lakshmi.
I just woke up to the horrible news about my friend @Bourdain. In shock and devastated. One of the most fun and wittiest men I knew. Tony you will be missed. RIP
— Padma Lakshmi (@PadmaLakshmi) June 8, 2018
In an interview with People, Lakshmi says that she was “really shocked and saddened because he had been doing really well.” She followed up by saying, “I’ve been walking around all day with this empty pit in my stomach.”
Bourdain regularly appeared on Top Chef as a guest judge. He watched the show and even considered himself to be a “fan.”
“It’s obviously hard on all of us. He was great on Top Chef. He brought a breath of fresh air and a new energy and made it his own. He was very much himself. He made me laugh the whole time.”
But what really bonded the two of them beyond their shared love of food was the birth of Lakshmi’s eight-year-old daughter, Krishna Thea. “I really got close to him after the birth of my daughter,” she said. Having his own daughter, Ariane, 11, Bourdain allowed Lakshmi to see a different side of him.
Lakshmi also went on to say that while she’s met many people in the entertainment industry, including writers and chefs, she didn’t know a lot of people like Tony.
“He was somebody I really admired. He was somebody who was generous with his time. He was never too grand or too big. He said it like it was but he also admitted when he was wrong. And not many big chefs have an ego that allows them to do that but he did.”
Between Wang, Top Chef and even an 85-year-old food critic named Marilyn Hagerty, who collaborated with the author on her book Grand Forks: A History of American Dining in 128 Reviews, as reported by the Inquisitr, Anthony Bourdain was not above seeking out and helping others.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. For readers outside the U.S., visit Suicide.org; or Befrienders Worldwide for international resources you can use to find help.