What Andrew Zimmern Remembers Most About Anthony Bourdain

Almost four years have passed since his passing, and Anthony Bourdain still casts a shadow. On April 10, chef Andrew Zimmern engaged in an AMA on Twitter and two questions were directed toward his relationship with Bourdain.

"Best memory of Bourdain?" asked @SPTolson, to which Zimmern responded, "Seeing him so happy the last time we had dinner and the day he called me to discuss why our kids liked the other ones [sic] shows best." The fan thanked Zimmern for the reply, saying, "Miss that guy too, loved his shows. And def think the world was a better place with him in it." @YaGirlTirsh prodded Zimmern with, "What's the first thing that comes to your mind when you remember Anthony Bourdain?" The answer to which was, "Making him laugh." Both answers prompted a few comments about Bourdain's memory.

Such laughter was also the root of their competitive friendship. As Zimmern explained to Mashed in an exclusive interview in October 2020, their first years of interaction consisted of them interrogating each other about how each got their shows into more restricted countries like Cuba or Syria. From there, they developed an affection based on how they two shared uniquely similar life paths.

Their friendship was a back-and-forth

Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern's friendship began as a competition, but as they matured, they learned to better reflect and share what each other needed to hear. Sometimes, this was the same thing repeated back to the person who originally said it. Talking with People Now back in 2018, Zimmern recalled that during his final conversation with Bourdain, Bourdain was going on and on about how Zimmern deserved to be happy. Zimmern asked, "That is so great, where did you get that little nugget?" From you, Bourdain answered, reminding Zimmern how he gave Bourdain the same speech five years earlier.

However, deserving to be happy was a concept that did not run in sync with Bourdain's self-story of a consummate addict. In his tribute to Bourdain after his death, Zimmern wrote that Bourdain would often consider stepping back from his television work to live as a teacher, or something more "feral" on a Vietnamese beach, only to conclude "guys like us will never stop doing what we really love," adding that "the road, the discovery, the camaraderie, the making of the messaging, the eagerness to see how others would interpret the work when it aired."

This, Zimmern decided, led to Bourdain lacking anyone who truly knew him, which is what everyone needs.

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