“One film isn’t going to cure all of society’s ills,” Bourdain says of his film Wasted, a documentary about food waste. “But if a few people start thinking about what they’re eating for dinner in a different way or think twice about throwing out what is often the best stuff, it’s a good day.”
He also recently spoke about the need for change in the restaurant industry’s culture of harassment, in light of the #MeToo movement. “I came out of a brutal, oppressive business that was historically unfriendly to women,” he said. “I look back, like hopefully a lot of men in that industry and think—not necessarily ‘what did I do or not do?’—but ‘what did I see and what did I let slide? What did I not notice?’”
We mourn the loss of his honest, no-holds-barred approach to cuisine, culture, and the human condition. As a fearless traveler and gifted storyteller, his work impacted restaurants across the globe, educated on the need for food waste solutions throughout the industry, and presented food and meals as sources of joy and connection. “I’m happiest experiencing food in the most purely emotional way,” Bourdain told NPR in 2016.
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