Alton Brown's Take On Anthony Bourdain's Legacy

Anthony Bourdain's celebrity expanded beyond the culinary world and home cooking. With his tattooed arms and wry sense of humor, the chef at times resembled a rockstar more than a bestselling author. The Smithsonian once called him "the Elvis of bad boy chefs," per CNN. Following his death at the age of 61, Bourdain has continued to be a source of inspiration for many, posthumously fueling a documentary called "Roadrunner" as well as the eternal question, "What would Tony think of [fill in the blank]?"

Aside from his TV series, Bourdain shared his very honest opinions on social media or during his stand-up tour in 2015, exacting his revenge on trends and chefs he felt insulted the culinary field — like the term "farm to table." Thrillist lays out Bourdain's candor, which ignited feuds with famous Food Network names like Guy Fieri, Sandra Lee, and Rachael Ray. He seemed to give Fieri the harshest criticisms, referring to his restaurant as the "terror dome" and Fieri himself as many ugly names. Sandra Lee, known for her "semi-homemade" approach, was called "pure evil" and the "hell spawn of Betty Crocker and Charles Manson." Fellow TV star Alton Brown, however, escaped Bourdain's burn. Following the "No Reservations" star's death, Brown was asked what Bourdain's legacy would be.

Bourdain connected people through food, Brown said

Perhaps it was the fact that both appreciated cinematography, or maybe it was that Bourdain's daughter thought Brown was a "hero." Either way, Bourdain respected Brown and took to Twitter to tell everyone so. Bourdain watched Brown's shows and thought people learned from them. In return, Brown praised Bourdain, saying he was "the best" food writer and that he was "jealous" of his work (via People).

This year, when asked by Alabama Live what Bourdain's "greatest legacy" would be, Brown didn't speak of the chef's cooking, but instead remarked on how Bourdain taught his fans "how to see and feel other people and other cultures," connecting the world through the lens of food. Brown referred to Tony (as friends called him) as a "cultural anthropologist," an adept traveler who made the big world cozy, and a "fantastic" person who will continue to be missed.

Bourdain's legacy includes hours of film from his multiple series, like "No Reservations" and "Parts Unknown," not to mention writing credits for programs like HBO's "Treme." The New Yorker gave the NYC chef his first writing gig, "Don't Read Before Eating This," which led to a bestselling industry tell-all book, "Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly" (best read before ordering mussels or swordfish). Bourdain's travels took us to places we may never be able to see firsthand, teaching lessons about our commonalities that will linger on.