“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
This post is in honor of Anthony Bourdain’s birthday on June 25th.
In recent years there has been a complaint making the rounds from a few prominent writers and marketers, in varied forms, which made me wonder if I was missing some big story somewhere.
People take to social media or even write full-out essays to call out cooking sites and food bloggers for including backstories and personal stories in their posts.
When I asked a couple privately what their real problem was, I was told it was “just a joke.”
Ah yes, that old chestnut.
Now, I’m immediately going to get irritated by anyone who jumps on their soapbox to try to declare that people shouldn’t be able to tell their own stories.
I realize I might be weird this way (ok, let’s be real, I’m weird in a lot of ways), but I love reading people’s stories. Getting to know why something is important to them, hearing about their family and traditions, understanding how they came to discover whatever particular thrill brought them to share this moment of sharing.
It’s something that perplexes me: how can intelligent and interesting people not be insatiably intrigued by the people and world around them?
Remember Anthony Bourdain? He created an entire food show, phenomenon, and legacy by sitting on flipped over buckets at street markets and just listening to people talk to him about the food he was eating.
And most people in this anti-food-stories battalion will scream the battle cry, “Not everyone can be Anthony Bourdain. Stop wasting my time with your stories.”
A statement which needs the reminder: Anthony Bourdain wasn’t Anthony Bourdain until someone gave him a chance to be Anthony Bourdain.