Obama’s Tribute to Anthony Bourdain Captures Exactly Why the Chef Was So Loved

“He taught us about food—but more importantly, about its ability to bring us together.”

U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with Anthony Bourdain after visiting with him in Hanoi, Vietnam in May 2016.Carolyn Kaster/AP

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On Friday, as the nation mourned the death of chef, writer, and travel show host Anthony Bourdain, former president Barack Obama took to Twitter to express condolences. Recalling a moment he shared with Bourdain in Vietnam’s capital—”low plastic stool, cheap but delicious noodles, cold Hanoi beer,” Obama wrote, “This is how I’ll remember Tony.”

Obama dined with Bourdain on a 2016 episode of the TV host’s CNN show, Parts Unknown, where the two met at a restaurant in Hanoi. Recalling the experience for CNN, Bourdain wrote, “I can tell you that Barack Obama was, in spite of having had a high-ranking leader of the Taliban whacked in Pakistan a few days previous, very relaxed and at ease.”

Bourdain was found dead in his hotel room in France on Friday morning. He was 61. “He taught us about food—but more importantly, about its ability to bring us together. To make us a little less afraid of the unknown. We’ll miss him,” Obama wrote on Twitter.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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