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What #BourdainDay Is All About

What started with an Instagram post is now an official food holiday.

Prominent chefs and friends of Anthony Bourdain, Éric Ripert and José Andrés, proclaimed the holiday, June 25, in celebration of the late chef-documentarian’s birthday.

“We want all of you to celebrate Tony’s life,” explained the two, as they ordained Bourdain Day. On this day, everyone is requested to pick up a beverage or food and toast to Bourdain on camera, and then post the moment to social media with the hashtag #BourdainDay. Chef Ripert stated, “It’s so easy to lift your beer or a glass of wine or tea, whatever you want.”

This does not only honor the life of Bourdain, but also to change the tone of the conversations of his suicide on June 8, from solemn to celebratory. The gesture lets as many people as possible be involved, at least digitally.

On a phone interview by the National Post, the chef of Le Bernardin said, “The idea was to create, on his birthday, an event that anyone can contribute to, something that is low-production.” He added, “We will make sure that Anthony is being remembered on his birthday, and not when he left. We will keep this tradition year after year.”

This year, the two chefs celebrates Bourdain Day in Singapore, where they are gathered for the World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards 2019. They toasted together with beer over some street food, “Something that Anthony liked to do ⁠—going to the hawkers in Singapore or eating in the streets and having a beer,” chef Ripert conveyed.

Photo from Anthony Bourdain’s Instagram.

Beyond their toasts, Ripert and Andrés will be supporting a new scholarship established by the Culinary Institute of America, Bourdain’s alma mater. The Anthony Bourdain Legacy Scholarship will aid aspiring cooks who dream of following in Bourdain’s footsteps by traveling overseas. “He was a guy who educated all of us. This is a way to use his memory to keep educating the future talent in the food world in all of its forms,” chef Andrés said.

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