30 Most Memorable Anthony Bourdain Quotes About Life, Food and Travel

Anthony Bourdain is a name that’s not just popular in the culinary world but in books and TV, too.

As he was working as an executive chef in Brasserie Les Halles, he published an article entitled “Don’t Eat Before Reading This” which exposed the ugly things that are happening in the restaurant world. He expanded this article in the memoir Kitchen Confidential: Adventures of the Culinary Underbelly which was published in 2000. The memoir didn’t just include more accounts of the inner workings of restaurant kitchens but it also disclosed his battle with heroin addiction.

After the books’ success, Bourdain achieved even more success and popularity with TV shows such as A Cook’s Tour and Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. He was working on a few episodes of Parts Unknown when he was found dead in his hotel room on June 8, 2018, in Strasbourg, France.

As a way to look back at his career and success, here are the best and must-read Anthony Bourdain quotes.

Context and memory play powerful roles in all the truly great meals in one’s life. – Anthony Bourdain

anthony bourdain quotes context and memory play

My house is run, essentially, by an adopted, fully clawed cat with a mean nature. – Anthony Bourdain

I’m not afraid to look like a big, hairy, smelly, foreign devil in Tokyo, though I do my best not to, I really do. – Anthony Bourdain

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You learn a lot about someone when you share a meal together. – Anthony Bourdain

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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

What nicer thing can you do for somebody than make them breakfast? – Anthony Bourdain

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Barbecue may not be the road to world peace, but it’s a start. – Anthony Bourdain

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If anything is good for pounding humility into you permanently, it’s the restaurant business. – Anthony Bourdain

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

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For a dinner date, I eat light all day to save room, then I go all in: I choose this meal and this order, and I choose you, the person across from me, to share it with. There’s a beautiful intimacy in a meal like that. – Anthony Bourdain

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I’m not afraid to look like an idiot. – Anthony Bourdain

You can call me the bad boy chef all you want. I’m not going to freak out about it. I’m not that bad. I’m certainly not a boy, and it’s been a while since I’ve been a chef. – Anthony Bourdain

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I’ve never seen someone enjoy a cold beer on a little plastic stool more than President Obama. – Anthony Bourdain

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Anyone who’s a chef, who loves food, ultimately knows that all that matters is: ‘Is it good? Does it give pleasure?’ – Anthony Bourdain

An egg in anything makes it better. – Anthony Bourdain

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Life is complicated. It’s filled with nuance. It’s unsatisfying… If I believe in anything, it is doubt. The root cause of all life’s problems is looking for a simple fucking answer. – Anthony Bourdain

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Sometimes the greatest meals on vacations are the ones you find when Plan A falls through. – Anthony Bourdain

I mean, I’ve had more time on this Earth than I probably deserve, and I enjoy cigarettes very much, but now I feel that I owe this child who loves me to at least try to live a little longer, you know? – Anthony Bourdain

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I have the best job in the world. If I’m unhappy, it’s a failure of imagination. – Anthony Bourdain

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I was a happy dishwasher. I jokingly say that I learned every important lesson, all the most important lessons of my life as a dishwasher. – Anthony Bourdain

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 ass, cross the street by oneself, or be trusted with money. – Anthony Bourdain

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Your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride. – Anthony Bourdain

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Without new ideas success can become stale. – Anthony Bourdain

Skills can be taught. Character you either have or you don’t have. – Anthony Bourdain

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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. Most of the time, those marks — on your body or on your heart — are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt. – Anthony Bourdain

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Without experimentation, a willingness to ask questions and try new things, we shall surely become static, repetitive, and moribund. – Anthony Bourdain

Anytime I’m eating spicy noodles in a bowl, I’m happy. – Anthony Bourdain

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I’ll be right here. Until they drag me off the line. I’m not going anywhere. I hope. 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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I don’t really care about what people say about me when I’m gone, I guess Jerry Stahl would make an entertaining — if not necessarily flattering — story of the gruesome details. – Anthony Bourdain

[When I die], I will decidedly not be regretting missed opportunities for a good time. My regrets will be more along the lines of a sad list of people hurt, people let down, assets wasted and advantages squandered. – Anthony Bourdain

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Celebrate the life and success of one of the most famous personalities in the culinary world by sharing these Anthony Bourdain quotes.

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