Anthony Bourdain remembered for glowing visit to Houston

At 61 years old, famed chef, author, and television personality Anthony Bourdain is gone.

Eric Sandler, CultureMap Houston food editor, is remembering Bourdain for his ability to bring people from all different cultures together, using food.

“My reaction this morning is just shock, disbelief,” said Sandler.

Sandler has followed Bourdain’s rise in the culinary world for years. When Bourdain visited Houston, Sandler got the chance to meet with the culinary figure.

“People always say, ‘don’t meet your heroes.’ But I found him to be everything I expected him to be: witty, charming, funny. Quick with an answer to every question and just a very entertaining person to be around,” Sandler recalled. “He lit up the room.”

According to Sandler, Bourdain showed viewers of his popular show a different side of Houston when he visited last year.

“I thought he did the city very, very well. The show is called ‘Parts Unknown,’ and that’s what he showed us. The immigrant communities. The parts of the city people don’t really think about,” said Sandler. “It was a very moving tribute to Houston.”

One of the stops during Bourdain’s trip to Houston was Beavers in the southwest side.

“Being in the vicinity of Anthony Bourdain was so cool for me,” said executive chef Arash Kharat. “I was like a little kid. I was scared to talk to him.”

As wonderful as Bourdain’s trip was to Houston, his reported suicide proved tragic, especially on the same week that fashion icon Kate Spade took her own life.

If you or someone you know might be contemplating suicide, we urge you to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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