How Andrew Zimmern Hopes You'll Celebrate Bourdain Day

Chef Anthony Bourdain is gone, but his friend Andrew Zimmern would like to see his spirit live on. On June 25, Bourdain's birthday and a day his chef friends have declared "Bourdain Day" (via The Washington Post), Zimmern posted suggestions on Twitter for how we might honor the late celebrity chef's memory: "Celebrate travel, food, culture, other people, try new things, watch an old movie, listen to some great music louder than you are normally comfortable with, take a walk somewhere new, call someone you haven't spoken to in a while, hug a kid, go eat somewhere."

All of that would be a lot to do in one day, but it reflects what Bourdain had to offer those who knew him. "Everyone wanted to be around him and he was just a symphony of a human being," Zimmern told People. Celebrating food and travel certainly makes sense in light of Bourdain's life. He combined the two in his popular TV series "No Reservations," and then "Parts Unknown," among other shows.

The rest of Zimmern's advice on Bourdain Day no doubt arises from the many moments and conversations the two men shared privately. "People saw him traveling and doing food, but we would spend hours together and we would never talk about that," Zimmern told Eater on the day of Bourdain's death three years ago. "There was never a better person to talk about music and movies and social justice and any of that with."

They shared their struggles with addiction

The friendship between Bourdain and Zimmern flourished because they could relate so well to each other. Zimmern told Mashed in an exclusive 2020 interview that their relationship started out as a friendly rivalry. They were both on the Travel Channel and both doing food travel shows — Zimmern on "Bizarre Foods" while Bourdain was doing "No Reservations." They had a deeper connection, too. Both struggled with addiction. Long sober, Zimmern told Eater he tried to have honest conversations with friends. "He was an incredible sounding board, a gracious and kind friend to me," he said of Bourdain. Tragically, a toxicology report indicated Bourdain likely had consumed a lot of alcohol the night he killed himself (via NBC Boston).

Bourdain's death was "a tremendous reminder to have your support system, to be engaged with the people that you love, and actually share what's going on with your life," Zimmern told Eater. "It's a wonderful time to honor his legacy and also help spread the word that there are solutions and there is help for people who are struggling."

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.