Celebs, fans pay tribute to Anthony Bourdain’s death

One inspired fan visits Hanoi's "Bun Cha Obama" restaurant in silent tribute.

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Anthony Bourdain is beloved in Vietnam. Photo by Reuters

Kevin Holmes grew up on diet of Anthony Bourdain’s videos.

It is Bourdain that he credits with triggering the wanderlust in him.

The 26-year-old winemaker from Seattle in the US makes sure he watches the chef’s video before visiting a place so that he could check out the eateries that Bourdain had patronized.

So, when Holmes chose Vietnam as his first country to visit in Asia, it was Bourdain’s choices he had in mind, although the restaurant he aimed to visit in Hanoi on Saturday was made famous by President Obama.

“It is a measure of the respect he (Bourdain) got from even leaders like Obama,” Holmes told VnExpress International.

When a friend from Seattle informed Holmes of Bourdain’s untimely demise, he decided that the first thing he would do was visit Bun Cha Huong Lien on 24, Le Van Huu Street in the capital city.

As he drank a bottle of Hanoi beer and tucked into a bowl of the famous bun cha, which he pronounced better than the ones he’d had during his brief stay in the capital city, Holmes could not think of any reason for Bourdain to end his own life.

“It’s really sad,” he said.

Hang Nga, the owner of the restaurant, meanwhile, had got the news from local media outlets who called her to get her reaction. “I am dazed and shocked,” she said.

She recalled that she’d not known that Bourdain was a celebrity chef when she first met him in 2016. “But he was very enthusiastic and open to people,” she said.

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A photo on Anthony Bourdain's Instagram shows him and Obama at the bun cha eatery in Hanoi.

Bourdain’s death has been described a “developing story” by international media, with no information released yet about why he took the extreme step of taking his life.

Tributes have poured in from around the world.

President Obama tweeted a picture of himself with Bourdain in Hanoi, with the simple message: RIP Anthony @Bourdain #Hanoi.

Fellow celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay had this to say on Twitter: “Stunned and saddened by the loss of Anthony Bourdain. He brought the world into our homes and inspired so many people to explore culture and cities through their food.”

The chef ended his tweet with a call for those contemplating suicide to reach out to others. Listing the suicide hotlines for the US and the UK, he wrote: “Remember that help is a phone call away.”


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