Obama shares touching tribute to Anthony Bourdain: He taught us about food’s ability ‘to make us a little less afraid of the unknown’

Barack Obama talks with Anthony Bourdain in Hanoi, Vietnam, in 2016.

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Barack Obama talks with Anthony Bourdain in Hanoi, Vietnam, in 2016.
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Carlos Barria/Reuters

  • Former President Barack Obama shared a tribute to the celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, who died Friday at 61.
  • Obama said of Bourdain in a tweet: “He taught us about food – but more importantly, about its ability to bring us together. To make us a little less afraid of the unknown. We’ll miss him.”
  • Bourdain met and interviewed Obama in Hanoi, Vietnam, for his show “Parts Unknown” in 2016.

People around the world are remembering and celebrating the life of Anthony Bourdain, the beloved celebrity chef and travel-show host who died Friday morning in an apparent suicide. He was 61.

Bourdain hosted CNN’s “Parts Unknown,” where he traveled to places all around the world and highlighted the cuisines and cultures he found.

One of the many people who shared a tribute to Bourdain was former President Barack Obama, who was featured on an episode of “Parts Unknown” filmed in Hanoi, Vietnam, in 2016. Obama was in Asia for a multicountry state visit, and he met Bourdain for an interview over bun cha and local beer.

Obama said of Bourdain in a tweet: “He taught us about food – but more importantly, about its ability to bring us together. To make us a little less afraid of the unknown. We’ll miss him.”

In a piece published on CNN in March 2017, Bourdain wrote about how much he enjoyed his experience interviewing the president.

“I can tell you that Barack Obama was, in spite of having had a high-ranking leader of the Taliban whacked in Pakistan a few days previous, very relaxed and at ease,” Bourdain said. “He seemed to enjoy himself sitting on a low plastic stool eating noodles and pork bits with chopsticks.”

Bourdain also remarked on how warmly received Obama was in Vietnam and how the locals were excited that he and Bourdain opted for a local specialty instead of the more mainstream spring rolls and pho.

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or has had thoughts of harming themselves or taking their own life, get help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) provides 24/7, free, confidential support for people in distress, as well as best practices for professionals and resources to aid in prevention and crisis situations.