What David Chang Thinks Anthony Bourdain's TV Shows Were Really About

David Chang doesn't think Anthony Bourdain did television for food. Chang has opened up about his deep-rooted friendship with Bourdain in the past. ("Tony was a big brother to me," the chef once told NPR. "I always thought that Tony was the strong one. Tony was invincible.") But the interview that the Momofuku restaurant group founder gives in Morgan Neville's documentary "Roadrunner" gives us shockingly intimate insights into Bourdain, the person. They're the kind of insights that made Vulture's reviewer want to turn their eyes away from the screen at times and ask — should we really be witnessing this? 

What was Bourdain's favorite song? "Anenome," by the Brian Jonestown Massacre according to Chang. It's a track that the "Ugly Delicious" star calls "heroin music," and led Chang to reflect that Bourdain "never really delt with insecurity." How did Anthony Bourdain keep his calm in the face of constant, unceasing, even invasive public adulation? Chang once asked Bourdain. Bourdain replied, "When you're being nice to someone you're being gracious to them .... if that's my job it certainly beats being a middling line cook in a struggling restaurant." Do we deserve these glimpses into Bourdain's life and mind? Maybe not. But we can't stop drinking them in. 

For David Chang, Anthony Bourdain's shows were 'almost never about food'

You may have invited Anthony Bourdain into your home for the food he brought with him. Maybe — like Vulture — you were a fan of Bourdain's travels to Iceland, where the culinary icon dared to eat fermented shark. Maybe you liked watching Bourdain in Thailand, getting tattoos, and eating street food after dark — like Thrillist did. Eater got a kick out of watching Bourdain in Peru, dining on beef hearts and hen soup.

On camera, the cuisine was always central to Bourdain's travels. But Anthony Bourdain's friend, David Chang, doesn't think that Bourdain traveled and filmed and ate for the food, at all. "You can literally see it as he goes and travels more and more and more. It was almost never about food," he reflected in "Roadrunner." What was it about, then? "I think," Chang posited, "it was about Tony learning how to be a better person."