While he and Éric Ripert instigated a celebration of Bourdain’s life on the 25th of June declaring it #BourdainDay, they then went further with the announcement of a scholarship programme the Culinary Institute of America (CIA).
“People like me, we were very close to Tony in the days and weeks before what happened and I always tell people ‘make sure that you are there for your friends”, he told Fine Dining Lovers.
“This is something very personal… could I have done something different so that what happened might not have happened? Probably I will live with that for the rest of my life.”
“But Tony was the kind of person who could bring all people together, Tony was the voice of the voiceless. And this scholarship… will give an opportunity to people like Tony. As he himself would say, he never took himself very seriously.
“He would say he got a big break. He was a chef in a mid place in Manhattan. He said himself he had an uneventful life. Well that guy became one of the best communicators ever, he became one of the best writers ever, he became one of the best TV personalities ever, we all wanted to be Tony’s friend.
“We need to make sure that we can reach the people out there who feel forgotten so that they can become many Tonys. Why? Because we need people who will tell the stories, especially of the voiceless.
“So they can tell the stories, not only about chefs like me cooking in our high-end $400 restaurants, but what can we do feeding the many, creating a better world.”
From 28-30 October, join Fine Dining Lovers for a celebration of young culinary talent, when 12 global finalists will battle it out in Milan for the title of best young chef in the world - plus, join our first edition of Brain Food forum. See what's on.
Fine Dining Lovers teams up with the Culinary Institute of America, James Beard Foundation and Black Food Folks on the Better Business project to build stronger, more sustainable business practices for the industry.