When I first heard Anthony Bourdain had passed on I felt like I had lost a good friend. I'm not going to bullshit you, I've never read his book, I've not seen every episode of his show and I'm certainly not going to tell you I'm his number one fan.
However, what I did know of Anthony Bourdain was so inspiring. I had heard his name being thrown around years ago while working in kitchens. He was just another celebrity chef in my eyes, who spoke truths about kitchens, much like Marco and Gordon. He was a name that you didn't speak ill of, as he was fighting the good fight. One of the badasses amongst the hierarchy of chefs we all aspired to be.
His name became a staple in my house hold after discovering whisky. I'm not much of a drinker these days, but should a special occasion arise, I'll treat my self to a small glass of single malt and nurse it throughout the night.
It was through this I found the work of this incredible dude. My favourite whisky distillery is The Balvenie, a small place tucked away in the Speyside region of Scotland. Anthony Bourdain hosted a small series called "Raw Craft" on YouTube. It excited every part of my being watching him tour all these incredible places and tell the stories behind all the amazing creations that were unfolding before him.
Hearing somebodies "why" really makes me tick. Only last weekend I met a few guys restoring old trains during a pre-wedding shoot. I like the randomness of discovering something new, but more importantly, I like the moments of humanity. Connecting with someone whilst they explain what it is they do. That's what I love. It takes me back to being a kid, hanging out in garages with my dad and fiddling with motorcycles.
That's what I will always respect about the way Tony approached the people he worked with on his shows. No matter how famous or unknown they were, he treated them all the same and showed a genuine interest in what they were doing. We live in an age of social media where people try to piggy back on the success of others. It's not about showing off who you're involved with. It's about championing what they do. Connecting whole heartedly. That's what inspires me. It's the shit I connect with the most.
Bourdain inspired me to reach out to people who inspire me. To put them in the spotlight for a brief moment and enjoy real conversation with a brew. The thing I enjoyed the most about taking a step into Bourdain's way, was sharing the same fears and worries with those I worked with. Realising that no matter how much of a pedestal I put them on, deep down, they were still human.
The passing of Anthony Bourdain will stick with me. I have a lot to thank him for. He encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and take a punt on something I felt passionate about. In doing so, I reconnected with some old faces and befriended some new.
I aim to pay homage to Bourdain by getting Devils & Details up and running again. I'm always looking for an excuse to road trip and share a cuppa with some new faces. So if you wanna hang out or suggest somebody, drop me a line!
As always, cheers swinging by!