We were fans of Mr. Bourdain. Though we had lots of issues with the guy. He was sometimes inconsistent on the liberty issue. But he was often very good. He understood that food is the ultimate market. To make it with a restaurant one has to execute for the customer over and over and over and adjust to the marketplace and its whims to boot.
He was sometimes unduly acerbic to others. When he divorced his second wife we were saddened and judging by his shows the split seemed to hit him very hard. We have no idea of the circumstances of that parting but the contrast between the episode he did with his wife’s family in sunny Sardinia and the episode he did later in Borneo, as his marriage reached its end, is stark. We feared a decline.
He had started smoking again. A very drunken episode with his new girlfriend last season also raised flags. We are saddened that he apparently took his own life.
One thing that should be remembered is that most suicides are driven by the very real disease of depression, and depression is an extremely treatable disease. One of the most treatable actually. Given Bourdain’s long struggle with hard core drugs and drink it is likely that he suffered from this insidious disease. We wish his family the best in this difficult time.
We say goodbye (We are not usually particularly concerned when someone famous dies, particularly someone we’ve never even met.) with this clip from Bourdain’s Lyon episode with the culinary legend Paul Bocuse. A meal that Bourdain referred to as “the meal of my life.”