Rosie Spinks wrote, as clear as any I’ve read so far, a brilliant encapsulation of what I secretly knew but never realised about Bourdain: his gift wasn’t writing about food, travel or culture, no, his body of work describes eudaimonia.
His travel writing wasn’t just tips on how to scope out good street food or how to seamlessly navigate an airport. It laid out an attitude for living. Whether he was looking chic in Milan or dusty in Mozambique, he possessed a no-bullshit vitality, a humble awareness of his privilege as a white, male American, and an appreciation for the things—cold beer, hot noodles, the fact that seafood always tastes better when you’re barefoot in the sand—that are true no matter where you find yourself on this big, generous earth.
I wish I had written that.