TikTok Is Remembering Anthony Bourdain's One True Takedown

The late, great Anthony Bourdain was no stranger to hot takes. His strongly worded and witty opinions were full of real-world understanding, laced with dark humor, and often controversial. Consider when Anthony Bourdain shared how he really felt about Alice Waters. According to Gothamist, he called Waters, the famed chef and "slow food" activist behind Chez Panisse, annoying, to put it lightly (via Britannica). To put it not so lightly, he likened Waters' stance to that of the Khmer Rouge. This Cambodian communist group's goal was to create a "classless agrarian society," and they ultimately killed between 1.5 and 3 million people in just four years (via University of Minnesota). Harsh, but effective.

However, Bourdain was also known to make edits to previous statements when he felt it right to do so. His philosophy was this: "Maybe that's enlightenment enough: to know that there is no final resting place of the mind; no moment of smug clarity. Perhaps wisdom is realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go," shares Forbes.

In an interview with NPR about his book "Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook," Bourdain softened his sentiment about Alice Waters acknowledging that her impact on American gastronomy simply cannot be understated and that he even agrees with much of what she envisions in an ideal world. In true Bourdain fashion, he did still call her "spectacularly tone deaf."

Henry Kissinger did not fare as well as Alice Waters

In Anthony Bourdain's 2001 book "A Cook's Tour," he went in on Henry Kissinger. There are mixed opinions on the success of Kissinger's tenure as Secretary of State, notes Politico. He is lauded for leading negotiations that yielded important treaties during the Cold War but largely criticized for putting America first to a damaging degree. Indeed, Kissinger was at the helm of many devastating American-led events including violent installments of military dictatorships in Chile, Argentina, and Bangladesh as well as the systematic, years-long, bombing of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Greg Grandin, a professor of history at Yale University, conservatively estimates that Kissinger is responsible for around 3 to 4 million deaths (via Vox).

Bourdain, who has spent extensive time in the countries scarred by Kissinger's legacy, did not see these events through rose-tinted glasses (via Matador Network). In "A Cook's Tour," he said, "Once you've been to Cambodia, you'll never stop wanting to beat Henry Kissinger to death with your bare hands" (via Slate).

TikTok is remembering Anthony Bourdain fondly

Anthony Bourdain's comments about Henry Kissinger resurfaced in a detailed article by Patrick Radden Keefe for The New Yorker. In a conversation, Bourdain told Keefe, "Any journalist who has ever been polite to Henry Kissinger, you know, f*** that person." Bourdain went on to say, "I'm a big believer in moral gray areas, but, when it comes to that guy, in my view he should not be able to eat at a restaurant in New York." Keefe pointed out that Bourdain couldn't stand Emeril Lagasse, but later shared a meal with him and eventually apologized. Bourdain responded, "Emeril didn't bomb Cambodia!"

On TikTok, videos have been making the rounds with people reading portions of Bourdain's opinions on Henry Kissinger. Commenters are mostly nodding in agreement with Bourdain's sentiments. There are some users stirring the pot in the TikTok comments section with some low-level political discourse. However, most are expressing their remorse at Bourdain's death and lauding his infamous no-holds-barred attitude.