In short, he accomplished a lot before he died, and his legions of fans are proof of it. To commemorate the chef, we took a look back some of his wittiest and most inspiring words of wisdom, both on TV and in print. There were a lot to choose from.
Here are Bourdain's most thought-provoking quotes, in no particular order.
"All my happiest moments seem to revolve around meat in tube form."
"People who order their meat well-done perform a valuable service for those of us in the business who are cost-conscious: they pay for the privilege of eating our garbage."
"You can dress brunch up with all the focaccia, smoked salmon, and caviar in the world, but it’s still breakfast."
"Even more despised than the Brunch People are the vegetarians. Serious cooks regard these members of the dining public—and their Hezbollah-like splinter faction, the vegans—as enemies of everything that’s good and decent in the human spirit. To live life without veal or chicken stock, fish cheeks, sausages, cheese, or organ meats is treasonous."
"It's punishing. The sort of frenzied compression of time needed to take the tour, to see the sights, keeps you in a bubble that prevents you from having magic happen to you. Nothing unexpected or wonderful is likely to happen if you have an itinerary in Paris filled with the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower."
"It’s those little human moments that are the ones that stick with you forever, the random acts of kindness."
"You have to be a romantic to invest yourself, your money, and your time in cheese."
"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."
"I'm not afraid to look like a big, hairy, smelly, foreign devil in Tokyo, though I do my best not to, I really do."
"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."
"Your body is not a temple, it's an amusement park. Enjoy the ride."
"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."
"The way you make an omelet reveals your character."
"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."
"Without experimentation, a willingness to ask questions and try new things, we shall surely become static, repetitive, and moribund."
"It seems that the more places I see and experience, the bigger I realize the world to be. The more I become aware of, the more I realize how relatively little I know of it, how many places I have still to go, how much more there is to learn. Maybe that's enlightenment enough — to know that there is no final resting place of the mind, no moment of smug clarity. Perhaps wisdom, at least for me, means realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go."