Anthony Bourdain Changed The Way People Looked At Food. Here's How - Exclusive

Though Anthony Bourdain's career began as a chef, his major contribution to the world of food actually came much later in his career as a writer and television host of influential shows like "Parts Unknown" and "No Reservations." His audacious voice and travels led him to expose tons of fans to a world of food they would otherwise never have known. In his latest documentary "Roadrunner," director Morgan Neville explores the life, career, and impact of Anthony Bourdain. Neville sat down with Mashed for an exclusive interview ahead of the film's premiere on July 16. During the two years that Neville worked on this film, he watched an estimated 10,000 hours of footage of Bourdain and got to the heart of what he stood for (via IndieWire). Part of that, of course, was his mark on how people viewed the culinary world and what food means to everyone.

"I feel like Bourdain kind of kicked off the reevaluation of ... the balance of high food and low food," Neville explained, "He came from a world of where he understood French cuisine, and he went to the Culinary Institute of America, and he could appreciate the finest Michelin star dining, but he's the guy who really got people excited about eating out of parts on streets and third world countries," Neville said. 

"There's been such a revolution in how we think about ethnic food and respect it, what actually constitutes value in a meal," Neville added. For many, Bourdain opened their eyes to the fact that just because some meals are not served on white linen-clad tables does not mean they are any less worthy. 

Bourdain's view of food expanded the palates of many

While Anthony Bourdain's love for and heralding of both low- and high-brow culinary expressions is one facet of his life that Neville wanted to remind viewers of, there's so much more to his contribution to the world of food. "The fact that people can take Laotian and Thai food seriously, say, in terms of cuisine or Indian or Sichuan, or all these things that now people write articles about — and they get reviewed very seriously — but 20 years ago that was not happening. And so, that's part of it. ... I feel like that was Tony's message. And as much as the film reflects that part of it. I am 100% on board because Tony was always for the little guy," director Morgan Neville explained. As much as Bourdain could appreciate French cuisine, he taught so many people to value foods from all parts of the world even if they were historically overlooked. Every culture has deep roots in food that are every bit worth exploring and understanding whether it's at a food truck or a road-side stand.

"I think he always kind of saw himself as an underdog. And so, I think if the film helps extend that message, that it's the people we don't necessarily value, they have stories and cultures that are just as valuable as any other," Neville added. 

Focus Features will release "Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain" in theaters on July 16th.