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50 Best Anthony Bourdain Quotes On Life, Food & Travel

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anthony bourdain quotes

As a chef, author, and T.V. personality, Anthony Bourdain traveled the world with one mission: to find out what people like to cook and what makes people happy.

He was a conduit for igniting wanderlust and bridging the gap between inaccessible culinary masterpieces and the cultures in which they are entwined.

The world cherished Bourdain as the alternative, rule-breaking, bad- boy chef who took initiative to make the world a more inclusive place through his many cultural collaborations featuring the one thing that brings us all together: food.

He had a big appetite and an even bigger heart and thirst for adventure. You would never find Bourdain in the same place, he was constantly exploring and sharing his revelries with the world, teaching us more about life, food, happiness, and adventure.

We remember Anthony Bourdain as someone who’s attitude and outlook on food and life was unparalleled. His passion infected the nation and his words are a reminder of the legacy he has left behind. Pay tribute to his memory and reflect on your own adventures with the following quotes.

 

Awesome Anthony Bourdain Quotes

 

1.) “Food is everything we are. It’s an extension of nationalist feeling, ethnic feeling, your personal history, your province, your region, your tribe, your grandma. It’s inseparable from those from the get-go.” – Anthony Bourdain

2.) “You learn a lot about someone when you share a meal together.” –  Anthony Bourdain

3.) “Bad food is made without pride, by cooks who have no pride, and no love. Bad food is made by chefs who are indifferent, or who are trying to be everything to everybody, who are trying to please everyone… Bad food is fake food… food that shows fear and lack of confidence in people’s ability to discern or to make decisions about their lives.” –  Anthony Bourdain

4.) “To me, life without veal stock, pork fat, sausage, organ meat, demi-glace, or even stinky cheese is a life not worth living.” –  Anthony Bourdain

5.) “Skills can be taught. Character you either have or you don’t have.” –  Anthony Bourdain

6.) “Your body is not a temple. It’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.” – Anthony Bourdain

7.) “If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. Walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food. It’s a plus for everybody.” – Anthony Bourdain

8.) “Barbecue may not be the road to world peace, but it’s a start.” – Anthony Bourdain

9.) “In America, the professional kitchen is the last refuge of the misfit. It’s a place for people with bad pasts to find a new family.” – Anthony Bourdain

10.) “Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed popemobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafes and McDonald’s? Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria’s mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head?” – Anthony Bourdain

11.) Meals make the society, hold the fabric together in lots of ways that were charming and interesting and intoxicating to me. The perfect meal, or the best meals, occur in a context that frequently has very little to do with the food itself. – Anthony Bourdain

12.) The Italians and Spanish, the Chinese and Vietnamese see food as part of a larger, more essential and pleasurable part of daily life. Not as an experience to be collected or bragged about – or as a ritual like filling up a car – but as something else that gives pleasure, like sex or music, or a good nap in the afternoon. – Anthony Bourdain

13.) “I travel around the world, eat a lot of s—, and basically do whatever the f— I want.” – Anthony Bourdain

14.) “I’d put aside my psychotic rage, after many years being awful to line cooks, abusive to waiters, bullying to dishwashers. It’s terrible — and counter-productive — to make people feel like idiots for working hard for you.” – Anthony Bourdain

15.) “Travel is about the gorgeous feeling of teetering in the unknown.” – Anthony Bourdain

16.) “Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life—and travel—leaves marks on you.” – Anthony Bourdain

17.) “To be treated well in places where you don’t expect to be treated well, to find things in common with people you thought previously you had very, very little in common with, that can’t be a bad thing.” – Anthony Bourdain

18.) I don’t have much patience for people who are self-conscious about the act of eating, and it irritates me when someone denies themselves the pleasure of a bloody hunk of steak or a pungent French cheese because of some outdated nonsense about what’s appropriate or attractive. – Anthony Bourdain

19.) Anyone who’s a chef, who loves food, ultimately knows that all that matters is: ‘Is it good? Does it give pleasure? –Anthony Bourdain

20.) “I don’t have to agree with you to like you or respect you.” – Anthony Bourdain

21.) “Assume the worst. About everybody. But don’t let this poisoned outlook affect your job performance. Let it all roll off your back. Ignore it. Be amused by what you see and suspect. Just because someone you work with is a miserable, treacherous, self-serving, capricious, and corrupt asshole shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying their company, working with them, or finding them entertaining.” – Anthony Bourdain

22.) “The way you make an omelet reveals your character.” – Anthony Bourdain

23.) “If you’re twenty-two, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel – as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them – wherever you go.” – Anthony Bourdain

24.) “No one understands and appreciates the American Dream of hard work leading to material rewards better than a non-American.” – Anthony Bourdain

25.) “What nicer thing can you do for somebody than make them breakfast?” – Anthony Bourdain

26.) “It’s very rarely a good career move to have a conscience.” – Anthony Bourdain

27.) “Context and memory play powerful roles in all the truly great meals in one’s life.” – Anthony Bourdain

28.) “Basic cooking skills are a virtue… the ability to feed yourself and a few others with proficiency should be taught to every young man and woman as a fundamental skill. [It’s] as vital to growing up as learning to wipe one’s own a–, cross the street by oneself, or be trusted with money.” – Anthony Bourdain

29.) “Luck is not a business model.” – Anthony Bourdain

30.) “Maybe that’s enlightenment enough: to know that there is no final resting place of the mind; no moment of smug clarity. Perhaps wisdom…is realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go.” – Anthony Bourdain

31.) “Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.” – Anthony Bourdain

32.) “When dealing with complex transportation issues, the best thing to do is pull up with a cold beer and let somebody else figure it out.” – Anthony Bourdain

33.) “Without experimentation, a willingness to ask questions and try new things, we shall surely become static, repetitive, and moribund.” – Anthony Bourdain

34.) “I am not afraid to look like an idiot.” – Anthony Bourdain

35.) “I, personally, think there is a real danger of taking food too seriously. Food should be part of the bigger picture.” – Anthony Bourdain

36.) “Without new ideas success can become stale.” – Anthony Bourdain

37.) “Don’t lie about it. You made a mistake. Admit it and move on. Just don’t do it again. Ever.” – Anthony Bourdain

38.) “I’m a big believer in winging it. I’m a big believer that you’re never going to find perfect city travel experience or the perfect meal without a constant willingness to experience a bad one. Letting the happy accident happen is what a lot of vacation itineraries miss, I think, and I’m always trying to push people to allow those things to happen rather than stick to some rigid itinerary.” – Anthony Bourdain

39.) “I’ve long believed that good food, good eating, is all about risk. Whether we’re talking about unpasteurized Stilton, raw oysters or working for organized crime ‘associates,’ food, for me, has always been an adventure” – Anthony Bourdain

40.) “I always entertain the notion that I’m wrong, or that I’ll have to revise my opinion. Most of the time that feels good; sometimes it really hurts and is embarrassing.” – Anthony Bourdain

41.) “The journey is part of the experience – an expression of the seriousness of one’s intent. One doesn’t take the A train to Mecca.” – Anthony Bourdain

42.) “People are generally proud of their food. A willingness to eat and drink with people without fear and prejudice… they open up to you in ways that somebody visiting who is driven by a story may not get.” – Anthony Bourdain

43.) “There is no Final Resting Place of the Mind.” – Anthony Bourdain

44.) “Sometimes the greatest meals on vacations are the ones you find when Plan A falls through.” – Anthony Bourdain

45.) “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” – Anthony Bourdain

46.) “For a moment, or a second, the pinched expressions of the cynical, world-weary, throat-cutting, miserable bastards we’ve all had to become disappears, when we’re confronted with something as simple as a plate of food.” – Anthony Bourdain

47.) “I am not a fan of people who abuse service staff. In fact, I find it intolerable. It’s an unpardonable sin as far as I’m concerned, taking out personal business or some other kind of dissatisfaction on a waiter or busboy.” – Anthony Bourdain

48.) “An ounce of sauce covers a multitude of sins.” – Anthony Bourdain

49.) “Our movements through time and space seem somehow trivial compared to a heap of boiled meat in broth, the smell of saffron, garlic, fishbones and Pernod.” – Anthony Bourdain

50.) “It’s been an adventure. We took some casualties over the years. Things got broken. Things got lost. But I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.” – Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain was an American treasure. His thirst for the weird, crazy, and unusual inspired many to explore outside their own comforts.

The charismatic and silver-tongued chef and adventurer broke borders and brought new cultures into living rooms across the nation, a gift that we may never truly appreciate. May his words continue to inspire, ignite, and challenge us to embrace the unknown.

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