DC Chefs (and Barack Obama) Remember Anthony Bourdain

José Andrés, David Chang, and others reflect on their friend

Anthony Bourdain on Instagram: "The President's chopstick skills are on point."

Food world legend Anthony Bourdain passed away early Friday morning at the age of 61. The chef, author, and TV host was found dead in his hotel room in France in what has been ruled a suicide. He had been there filming his CNN series, Parts Unknown.

There’s been an outpouring of grief and shared memories from industry peers and celebrities from around the world, including friend and colleague José Andrés. The two frequently joined forces, whether raising thousands for DC Central Kitchen at the Capital Food Fight, or filming a No Reservations episode in Washington where they smelled peaches at the Penn Quarter farmers market and dissected tomatoes at Minibar.

Bourdain, never shy of expressing controversial opinions, was supportive of Andrés in his fights, legal and otherwise, with President Trump. “He is the first chef in the history of the world to be sued by a sitting president. He is my hero,” Bourdain told an audience in Miami.

While he could be critical of powerful figures, Bourdain used his celebrity to widen fans’ views of the worldwhether traveling to far-flung places or around the U.S..

And of course he was always willing to meet across the table.

James Beard-winning culinary historian and writer Michael W. Twitty captured Bourdain’s influence this way:

Here’s Thip Khao and Padaek owner Seng Luangrath:

Food writer Nevin Martell shared a photo of Bourdain and Andrés hanging out at Oyamel:

And Virginia-born chef David Chang broke all our hearts:

Watch the full DC episode of No Reservations here:


Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.