Gone far too soon, these Anthony Bourdain quotes from the late chef, author and TV personality will challenge your typical way of thinking.
A man that was both gregarious and sharp-witted, his ability to embrace the cultures of others will surely inspire you in more ways than one.
He was a conduit for igniting wanderlust and bridging the gap between inaccessible culinary masterpieces and the cultures in which they are entwined.
The world cherished Bourdain as the alternative, rule-breaking, bad-boy chef who took initiative to make the world a more inclusive place through his many cultural collaborations featuring the one thing that brings us all together: food.
He had a big appetite and an even bigger heart and a thirst for adventure. You would never find Bourdain in the same place, he was constantly exploring and sharing his revelries with the world, teaching us more about life, food, happiness, and adventure.
We remember Anthony Bourdain as someone whose attitude and outlook on food and life was unparalleled.
His passion infected the nation and his words are a reminder of the legacy he has left behind. Pay tribute to his memory and reflect on your own adventures with the following quotes.
Awesome Anthony Bourdain Quotes
1. “Barbecue may not be the road to world peace, but it’s a start.” – Anthony Bourdain
2. “You learn a lot about someone when you share a meal together.” – Anthony Bourdain
3. “To me, life without veal stock, pork fat, sausage, organ meat, demi-glace, or even stinky cheese is a life not worth living.” – Anthony Bourdain
4. “Skills can be taught. Character you either have or you don’t have.” – Anthony Bourdain
5. “I travel around the world, eat a lot of s—, and basically do whatever the f— I want.” – Anthony Bourdain
6. “Your body is not a temple. It’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.” – Anthony Bourdain
7. “If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. Walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food. It’s a plus for everybody.” – Anthony Bourdain
8. “Food is everything we are. It’s an extension of nationalist feeling, ethnic feeling, your personal history, your province, your region, your tribe, your grandma. It’s inseparable from those from the get-go.” – Anthony Bourdain
9. “In America, the professional kitchen is the last refuge of the misfit. It’s a place for people with bad pasts to find a new family.” – Anthony Bourdain
10. “Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed popemobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafes and McDonald’s? Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria’s mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head?” – Anthony Bourdain
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Anthony Bourdain quotes that will inspire you to make your life an adventure
11. Meals make the society, hold the fabric together in lots of ways that were charming and interesting and intoxicating to me. The perfect meal, or the best meals, occur in a context that frequently has very little to do with the food itself. – Anthony Bourdain
12. The Italians and Spanish, the Chinese and Vietnamese see food as part of a larger, more essential and pleasurable part of daily life. Not as an experience to be collected or bragged about – or as a ritual like filling up a car – but as something else that gives pleasure, like sex or music, or a good nap in the afternoon. – Anthony Bourdain
13. “Bad food is made without pride, by cooks who have no pride, and no love. Bad food is made by chefs who are indifferent, or who are trying to be everything to everybody, who are trying to please everyone… Bad food is fake food… food that shows fear and lack of confidence in people’s ability to discern or to make decisions about their lives.” – Anthony Bourdain
14. “I’d put aside my psychotic rage, after many years being awful to line cooks, abusive to waiters, bullying to dishwashers. It’s terrible — and counter-productive — to make people feel like idiots for working hard for you.” – Anthony Bourdain
15. “Travel is about the gorgeous feeling of teetering in the unknown.” – Anthony Bourdain
16. “Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life—and travel—leaves marks on you.” – Anthony Bourdain
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17. “To be treated well in places where you don’t expect to be treated well, to find things in common with people you thought previously you had very, very little in common with, that can’t be a bad thing.” – Anthony Bourdain
18. I don’t have much patience for people who are self-conscious about the act of eating, and it irritates me when someone denies themselves the pleasure of a bloody hunk of steak or a pungent French cheese because of some outdated nonsense about what’s appropriate or attractive. – Anthony Bourdain
19. Anyone who’s a chef, who loves food, ultimately knows that all that matters is: ‘Is it good? Does it give pleasure? –Anthony Bourdain
20. “I don’t have to agree with you to like you or respect you.” – Anthony Bourdain
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21. “Assume the worst. About everybody. But don’t let this poisoned outlook affect your job performance. Let it all roll off your back. Ignore it. Be amused by what you see and suspect. Just because someone you work with is a miserable, treacherous, self-serving, capricious, and corrupt asshole shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying their company, working with them, or finding them entertaining.” – Anthony Bourdain
22. “The way you make an omelet reveals your character.” – Anthony Bourdain
23. “If you’re twenty-two, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel – as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them – wherever you go.” – Anthony Bourdain
24. “No one understands and appreciates the American Dream of hard work leading to material rewards better than a non-American.” – Anthony Bourdain
25. “What nicer thing can you do for somebody than make them breakfast?” – Anthony Bourdain
26. “It’s very rarely a good career move to have a conscience.” – Anthony Bourdain
27. “Context and memory play powerful roles in all the truly great meals in one’s life.” – Anthony Bourdain
28. “Basic cooking skills are a virtue… the ability to feed yourself and a few others with proficiency should be taught to every young man and woman as a fundamental skill. [It’s] as vital to growing up as learning to wipe one’s own a–, cross the street by oneself, or be trusted with money.” – Anthony Bourdain
29. “Luck is not a business model.” – Anthony Bourdain
30. “Maybe that’s enlightenment enough: to know that there is no final resting place of the mind; no moment of smug clarity. Perhaps wisdom…is realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go.” – Anthony Bourdain
Anthony Bourdain quotes that will inspire you to live your best life
31. “Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.” – Anthony Bourdain
32. “When dealing with complex transportation issues, the best thing to do is pull up with a cold beer and let somebody else figure it out.” – Anthony Bourdain
33. “Without experimentation, a willingness to ask questions and try new things, we shall surely become static, repetitive, and moribund.” – Anthony Bourdain
34. “I am not afraid to look like an idiot.” – Anthony Bourdain
35. “I, personally, think there is a real danger of taking food too seriously. Food should be part of the bigger picture.” – Anthony Bourdain
36. “Without new ideas success can become stale.” – Anthony Bourdain
37. “Don’t lie about it. You made a mistake. Admit it and move on. Just don’t do it again. Ever.” – Anthony Bourdain
38. “I’m a big believer in winging it. I’m a big believer that you’re never going to find perfect city travel experience or the perfect meal without a constant willingness to experience a bad one. Letting the happy accident happen is what a lot of vacation itineraries miss, I think, and I’m always trying to push people to allow those things to happen rather than stick to some rigid itinerary.” – Anthony Bourdain
39. “I’ve long believed that good food, good eating, is all about risk. Whether we’re talking about unpasteurized Stilton, raw oysters or working for organized crime ‘associates,’ food, for me, has always been an adventure” – Anthony Bourdain
40. “I always entertain the notion that I’m wrong, or that I’ll have to revise my opinion. Most of the time that feels good; sometimes it really hurts and is embarrassing.” – Anthony Bourdain
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41. “The journey is part of the experience – an expression of the seriousness of one’s intent. One doesn’t take the A train to Mecca.” – Anthony Bourdain
42. “People are generally proud of their food. A willingness to eat and drink with people without fear and prejudice… they open up to you in ways that somebody visiting who is driven by a story may not get.” – Anthony Bourdain
43. “There is no Final Resting Place of the Mind.” – Anthony Bourdain
44. “Sometimes the greatest meals on vacations are the ones you find when Plan A falls through.” – Anthony Bourdain
45. “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” – Anthony Bourdain
46. “For a moment, or a second, the pinched expressions of the cynical, world-weary, throat-cutting, miserable bastards we’ve all had to become disappears, when we’re confronted with something as simple as a plate of food.” – Anthony Bourdain
47. “I am not a fan of people who abuse service staff. In fact, I find it intolerable. It’s an unpardonable sin as far as I’m concerned, taking out personal business or some other kind of dissatisfaction on a waiter or busboy.” – Anthony Bourdain
48. “An ounce of sauce covers a multitude of sins.” – Anthony Bourdain
49. “Our movements through time and space seem somehow trivial compared to a heap of boiled meat in broth, the smell of saffron, garlic, fishbones and Pernod.” – Anthony Bourdain
50. “It’s been an adventure. We took some casualties over the years. Things got broken. Things got lost. But I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.” – Anthony Bourdain
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51. “Practicing your craft in expert fashion is noble, honorable and satisfying. And I’ll generally take a standup mercenary who takes pride in his professionalism over an artist any day.”― Anthony Bourdain
52. “Everybody should come here. Everyone should see how complicated, how deeply troubled, and yet at the same time, beautiful and awesome the world can be. Everyone should experience, even as the clouds gather, what’s at stake, what could be lost, what’s still here.”― Anthony Bourdain
53. “For me, the cooking life has been a long love affair, with moments both sublime and ridiculous. But like a love affair, looking back you remember the happy times best.”― Anthony Bourdain
54. “I know what I want. I want it all. I want to try everything once.”― Anthony Bourdain
55. “Food had power. It could inspire, astonish, shock, excite, delight and impress. It had the power to please me . . . and others.”― Anthony Bourdain
56. “Good food and good eating are about risk. Every once in a while an oyster, for instance, will make you sick to your stomach. Does this mean you should stop eating oysters? No way.”― Anthony Bourdain
57. “Whatever had the most shock value became my meal of choice.”― Anthony Bourdain
58. “Looking at these photographs, I know that I will never understand the world I live in or fully know the places I’ve been. I’ve learned for sure only what I don’t know – and how much I have to learn.”― Anthony Bourdain
59. “I think people lose sight of the fact that chefs should be ultimately in the pleasure business, not in the look-at-me business.”― Anthony Bourdain
60. “Food, it appeared, could be important. It could be an event. It had secrets.”― Anthony Bourdain
61. “Once you embark on a career dictated by the need for immediate cash flow, it never gets any easier to get off the treadmill.”― Anthony Bourdain
62. “I had always believed that if somebody who worked with me went home feeling like a jerk for giving their time and their genuine effort, then it was me who had failed them—and in a very personal, fundamental way.”
― Anthony Bourdain
63. “If you are easily offended by direct aspersions on your lineage, the circumstances of your birth, your sexuality, your appearance, the mention of your parents possibly commingling with livestock, then the world of professional cooking is not for you.”― Anthony Bourdain
64. “Food may not be the answer to world peace, but it’s a start.”― Anthony Bourdain
65. “I think food, culture, people and landscape are all absolutely inseparable.”― Anthony Bourdain
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66. “Vegetarians and their Hezbollah-like splinter faction, the vegans … are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit.” – Anthony Bourdain
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67. “Good food is very often, even most often, simple food.” – Anthony Bourdain
68. “You have to be a romantic to invest yourself, your money, and your time in cheese.” – Anthony Bourdain
69. ‘Avoid at all costs that vile spew you see rotting in oil in screwtop jars. Too lazy to peel fresh? You don’t deserve to eat garlic.” – Anthony Bourdain
70. “I lurched away from the table after a few hours feeling like Elvis in Vegas – fat, drugged, and completely out of it.” – Anthony Bourdain
71. “I am in no way supportive of hunting for trophies or sport – would never do it and don’t like it that others do. But if you kill it, then eat it, it’s fine.” – Anthony Bourdain
72. “My love for chaos, conspiracy and the dark side of human nature colors the behavior of my charges, most of whom are already living near the fringes of acceptable conduct.” – Anthony Bourdain
73. “Under ‘Reasons for Leaving Last Job’, never give the real reason, unless it’s money or ambition.” – Anthony Bourdain
74. “Writing anything is a treason of sorts.” – Anthony Bourdain
75. “Frightened people become angry people—as history teaches us again and again.” – Anthony Bourdain
Did you enjoy these Anthony Bourdain quotes?
Anthony Bourdain was an American treasure. His thirst for the weird, crazy, and unusual inspired many to explore outside their own comforts.
The charismatic and silver-tongued chef and adventurer broke borders and brought new cultures into living rooms across the nation, a gift that we may never truly appreciate.
May his words continue to inspire, ignite, and challenge us to embrace the unknown.
March 10, 2021 6:00 AM EST