Chef José Andrés reflects on the life of his friend Anthony Bourdain and why he, Éric Ripert and others decided to honour his legacy by starting the Anthony Bourdain Legacy Scholarshipprogramme. The scholarship programme aims to empower people to emulate Bourdain’s ability to tell stories and bring people together.
Speaking to Fine Dining Lovers at the Food Meets Future event in Singapore during the World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019 ceremony, the chef, a close personal friend of Bourdain opens about the effect losing him had on him and others close to him.
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.”