Makarand Utpat

World Says Goodbye to Anthony Bourdain, but Not to His Legacy- A True Inspiration

Life is predictably, unpredictable.

One moment, you have collapsed at the rock bottom and the next, you are at the very pinnacle of success.

You come to a point where you surpass those who used to be your idols or become peers with them.

What an exemplary journey that can be!

Unfortunately, unpredictable series of events unfolded on Friday June 8th, 2018 in France Anthony Bourdain was found dead in his hotel room at the age of 61.

Although I wasn’t able to consistently view Bourdain’s TV shows and food travel documentaries, I watched it whenever I found time. But him committing suicide was a news full of utter disbelief, shock and surprise! Sometimes, what we don’t know what we don’t know. I hope he finds peace wherever he is now.

Anyway, as I looked back, I found that his conversations with locals on food table were something to watch for since they were so entertaining. At its heart, there was friendliness.

That was quite special. You would instantly know why food is considered as the universal language while watching his shows.

Anthony Bourdain, a travel enthusiast and a food fanatic, will forever be remembered for his brave heart and experimental soul. Bourdain embarked on his journey from the lowest levels in professional kitchens, working as a dish washer in Cape Cod seafood shack.

With a passion for food, industrious efforts and an inquisitive mind, Anthony Bourdain soon became one of the most sought-after American chefs who became the mastermind behind Manhattan’s posh kitchens.

Taking a Page from Anthony Bourdain’s Book

A dreamer and a chaser, Bourdain answered the calling of his heart and wrote an article in “The New Yorker” which was accepted by the magazine titled, “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly”, which became a best seller book on Amazon and considered as the acclaimed book till date.

How many of us are able to respond to our inner calling and do something about it?

I think our inner calling doesn’t have to be a rocket science material.

It can vary widely and can be as simple as or as complex as we want to make it to be, such as,

  • Writing a blog,
  • Creating your own website,
  • Publishing a book,
  • Learning a new instrument,
  • Enrolling for a new course,
  • Going on a walking or running routine,
  • Starting a podcast,
  • Stabilizing a gym routine,
  • Launching a YouTube channel or
  • Giving back to the needy.

The list goes on and on. Let’s remember, Life is about possibilities and not problems

An important lesson I learned after watching him was that we do not have to be perfect.

We keep underestimating our abilities or get influenced by the voices/ forces that may have transient impact on our lives. It leads to procrastination and we never end up getting started or achieving something meaningful.

Or, in other cases, many often, we end up striving for perfection so much so that we never end up doing anything about it.

Tony showed us how exactly to follow your passion, act on it and excel.

Anthony’s Memoir: A Quest for Exploration and Adventure

In his memoir, he wrote, “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 McDonalds? 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? I know what I want. I want it all. I want to try everything once.”

Certainly, a different twist on the food!

Soon after his rise to the world of fame as a celebrity chef, culinary prodigy and social activist, Anthony Bourdain joined the CNN team with his very own show, “Parts Unknown,” and became a sigil of the American Dream – an unwavering, unshrinking individual who zealously pursued his desires and sought liberty through his ability to indulge in diversity.

Although Anthony Bourdain is no more with us in flesh, the footprint he created in peoples’ minds is exemplary.

Anthony Bourdain: A True Inspiration for Entrepreneurs and Professionals

Anthony will continue to live in our hearts and spirits forever. Bourdain’s legacy will never be forgotten and something can be learned and implemented in every aspect of our lives, inspired and influenced by Anthony’s valor.

Particularly for entrepreneurs, there is plenty to learn from the life and practices of Bourdain.

It is no secret that he is known as the, “Elvis of Bad Boy Chefs,” and that he is accredited for not only being an award-winning influential chef, a culinary rockstar and a notable catalyst in the cuisine-culture, but for always being fearless, big-hearted and dauntless when it came to taking risks as an entrepreneur.

The best entrepreneurs are risk-takers, innovators and out-of-the-box thinkers.

The idea and the entire investment is theirs which is why they are known as the risk-takers– they’re putting everything on the line and they’ve got everything to lose. Perhaps this is why most entrepreneurs do not even bother to take up a challenge and remain drenched in mediocrity for the rest of their lives, never being able to stand out because they were too busy following the flock.

As an entrepreneur, I believe, it is your role to stimulate a creative thought process in your work environment in order to venture into something innovative, similar to how Anthony Bourdain lived his life by being someone who had big ideas about life in general and being fearless enough to see them through.

For his entire life, Anthony Bourdain remained a sweetheart for the people.

His brilliant story-telling techniques, his keen and careful listening, his observant yet curious thought process, and his empathetic heart led him to becoming a beloved of the masses.

This is something you, me and specifically entrepreneurs can seek inspiration from.

Entrepreneurship is only successful if the pioneer is capable of striking a chord amongst your employees, clients, extended partners and your target audience. Audiences are aware of morality and ethics. They are aware of when a business is actually looking after their best interest and when they are only victims of mindless gold-digging.

Think big and look to achieve big.

I think it is our job to seek inspiration from empathetic Anthony Bourdain who not only introduced a vast assortment of world cuisines to his audiences but he also spoke for the #MeToo movement in order to empower his female associates and females all around the world who were victims of discrimination, objectification and sexual assaults.

Anthony Bourdain: A True Inspiration for Marketers around the World

On top of all this, I also look at Anthony as a successful marketer of his industry.

He knew how to relate to his audience and vice versa, how to do storytelling, how to create fascinating and gripping content and deliver lovely outcomes over a can of beer or freshly prepared food item. He was so human that he also listened and not always talked about himself. It was quite easy to relate to him.

The cornerstones of the digital marketing deal with knowing your audience, entering their minds, knowing their hot buttons, resonating with them through powerful messages, creating educational content, providing massive value and mastering the media that will ultimately draw your audience towards you.

Anthony was exemplary in all the above aspects.

With all this, he was able to build a relationship with his content and documentaries. No wonder, why we see he created special place in peoples’ minds.

The secret to his prosperity lied in his creative intelligence. Never had Bourdain ever produced visual content that was ever witnessed before. His work was individualistic, imaginative and authentic; the key elements that pave an entrepreneur’s path to success.


In the End:

Bourdain’s legacy will forever be celebrated as more and more entrepreneurs and marketers seek inspiration from his practices to lead their businesses toward to deliver meaningful outcomes and victorious results.

There is an Indian proverb that says (loosely), “Death is certain. When you pass away, leave a lasting legacy behind you that will make your presence felt forever”.

Anthony Bourdain certainly showed us how to do that.

Love and prayers to his family and loved ones!

May his soul rest in peace!

Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons