Home Quotes 40 Anthony Bourdain Quotes to Remember The Legend

40 Anthony Bourdain Quotes to Remember The Legend

by Lois Earles

Anthony Bourdain was a legendary man beloved by many because of his travels, experiences, and opinions on the world. He loved every country he visited, every culture he dove into, and all of the food he ate.

After passing too soon, many people want to learn more about him and remember the man who’s now a legend. Here are 40 Anthony Bourdain quotes that still linger in our hearts and minds.

Who Is Anthony Bourdain?

Anthony Bourdain

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Anthony Bourdain was a legendary chef. He was well known for his travel documentaries and the books he wrote during his time. Millions watched as he traveled the globe to be a host on his show No Reservations and Parts Unknown.

He was well-loved thanks to his openness to other cultures and his thirst for knowledge. He longed to learn more about the origins of different foods and their cultures, being respectful as he learned about each one. Bourdain exposed the world to these different cultures and their cuisines, letting them speak for themselves during interviews. With his help, many people grew hungry for travels of their own.

40 Anthony Bourdain Quotes


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This legend of a man had many quotable experiences during his time on air, in interviews, and in his books. These 40 are just a select few of his most memorable moments.

1. “There is no Final Resting Place of the Mind.”
2. “Nothing unexpected or wonderful is likely to happen if you have an itinerary in Paris filled with the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower.”
3. “You learn a lot about someone when you share a meal together.”
4. “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.”
5. “Plans should be ephemeral, so be prepared to move away from them.”
6. “Travel is about the gorgeous feeling of teetering in the unknown.”
7. “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.”
8. “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.”
9. “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.”
10. “Travel is about the gorgeous feeling of teetering in the unknown.”
11. “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. The extent to which you can walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food, it’s a plus for everybody. Open your mind, get up off the couch, move.”
12. “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.”
13. “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.”
14. “Your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.”
15. “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.”
16. “I, personally, think there is a real danger of taking food too seriously. Food should be part of the bigger picture.”
17. “I learned a long time ago that trying to micromanage the perfect vacation is always a disaster. That leads to terrible times.”
18. “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.”
19. “For me, the cooking life has been a long love affair, with moments both sublime and ridiculous.”
20. “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”
21. “But I do think the idea that basic cooking skills are a virtue, that the ability to feed yourself and a few others with proficiency should be taught to every young man and woman as a fundamental skill, should become as vital to growing up as learning to wipe one’s own ass, cross the street by oneself, or be trusted with money.”
22.”I think food, culture, people and landscape are all absolutely inseparable.”
23. “I am not afraid to look like an idiot.”
24. “Luck is not a business model.”
25. “That without experimentation, a willingness to ask questions and try new things, we shall surely become static, repetitive, moribund.”
26. “I’m through being cool. Or, more accurately, I’m through entertaining the notion that anybody could even consider the possibility of coolness emanating from or residing anywhere near me.”
27. “If I believe in anything, it is doubt. The root cause of all life’s problems is looking for a simple f—ing answer.”
28.”I don’t have to agree with you to like you or respect you.”
29. “Perhaps wisdom… is realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go.”
30. “Skills can be taught. Character you either have or you don’t have.”
31. “Without new ideas, success can become stale.”
32. “But I’m simply not going to deceive anybody about the life as I’ve seen it. It’s all here: the good, the bad and the ugly.”
33. “What are our expectations? Which of the things we desire are within reach? If not now, when? And will there be some left for me?”
34. “No one understands and appreciates the American Dream of hard work leading to material rewards better than a non-American.”
35. “Don’t lie about it. You made a mistake. Admit it and move on. Just don’t do it again. Ever.”
36. “We know, for instance, that there is a direct, inverse relationship between frequency of family meals and social problems. Bluntly stated, members of families who eat together regularly are statistically less likely to stick up liquor stores, blow up meth labs, give birth to crack babies, commit suicide, or make donkey porn. If Little Timmy had just had more meatloaf, he might not have grown up to fill chest freezers with Cub Scout parts.”
37. “Give the people you work with or deal with or have relationships with the respect to show up at the time you said you were going to. And by that I mean, every day, always and forever. Always be on time.”
38. “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.”
39. “Everybody should come here. Everyone should see how complicated, how deeply troubled, and yet at the same time, beautiful and awesome the world can be. Everyone should experience, even as the clouds gather, what’s at stake, what could be lost, what’s still here.”
40. “I have a tattoo on my arm, that says, in ancient Greek, ‘I am certain of nothing.’ I think that’s a good operating principle.”

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