Why Anthony Bourdain Sought Out KFC In Sri Lanka

If you consider yourself a foodie or well-versed traveler, there's no doubt you have heard of multi-faceted chef and author, Anthony Bourdain. Most people know the dry, intelligent personality from his critically acclaimed television shows "No Reservations" and "Parts Unknown" yet the world-renowned cook made a name for himself initially through his no-frills autobiographic description of life as a young chef in his book "Kitchen Confidential."

Whether on television or in the words of one of his books, it is clear that Anthony Bourdain loved to travel and experience food as an essential element of understanding a culture different from his own, per The Washington Post.

While, according to Forbes Travel Guide, Bourdain's favorite place to visit was Tokyo, Japan, the sardonic chef also made many trips around the globe that were full of cultural rituals and festivals which took on a more serious purpose when filming segments of "Parts Unknown."

Bourdain and his crew, which included co-author Laurie Woolever, once traveled to Sri Lanka for the Madai Festival in Jaffna. While the festival housed a sorrowful religious nature and had deep meaning for Hindu inhabitants, the act of Bourdain sitting on a shabby roof, and eating KFC chicken from buckets also carried its own particular significance.

Bourdain's love for good food and conversation has no limits

The trip to Sri Lanka was a moving experience for co-author Laurie Woolever as she recalls Bourdain's capacity to experience a cultural festival with such intensity yet still have the ability to consider his hungry crew, laughing with them before the night's end. In her article for Food & Wine, she states, "He looked relaxed, happy, and pleased to be feeding and entertaining his friends."

One of Woolever's favorite things about Bourdain was his appreciation for all food whether it was "caviar on a private jet" or a bucket of chicken from one of his favorite fast-food chains, like KFC. He had no pretensions about any dish, as long as it was tasty.

Apart from Bourdain's crew, fans across the world also appreciated similar characteristics of the truth-driven chef. In the anticipation of his documentary release "Roadrunner," Reddit users shared what they loved most about the celebrity. While some fans connected to his writing and appreciated his honesty, the most talked-about aspect of Bourdain was his ability to connect with all people and all food no matter the background or origin. He had a special gift of being able to relate to others and fans near and far loved his authenticity.

While Bourdain tragically passed away in 2018, his appreciation for good food and meaningful conversation lives on not only in those that worked for him but in the fans he continues to have all around the world.