'A True Legend': Friends and Family of Anthony Bourdain Pay Tribute to Him on His Birthday

Eric Ripert, Padma Lakshmi, Rachael Ray and more people who knew the late chef have been celebrating #BourdainDay on Tuesday.

Friends and admirers of the late Anthony Bourdain are celebrating his life on what would have been his 63rd birthday.

Chefs Eric Ripert and José Andrés announced in May that the date would be known as “#BourdainDay”, encouraging people to raise a glass to the Parts Unknown host and post their tributes on social media. “On June 25 we all are going to celebrate the birthday of our dear friend and beloved Anthony Bourdain,” said Ripert in a video on Twitter. “We want all of you to celebrate Tony’s life, by cheering to Tony anywhere you want with anyone you want.”

The pair kicked off the toasts with mugs full of beer at Keng Eng Kee Seafood in Singapore, a restaurant famed for its chili crab (Bourdain ate at the owner’s family home during an episode of Parts Unknown.)

“A true Legend… Anthony, my Dear Friend… Happy Birthday! The world wishes you Peace & Love on your journey,” wrote Ripert, who was traveling with Bourdain in France when he died by suicide in June 2018.

TimesTalks with Anthony Bourdain, New York, USA - 05 Oct 2017

Chefs Ming Tsai and Jacques Pepin also teased a new episode of the PBS show Simply Ming that is dedicated to Bourdain. “I raise a glass to all the lives you touched so deeply,” Tsai wrote on Twitter.

“Some heroes don’t wear capes… we miss your wit, my friend. #bourdainday,” Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi captioned an old photo of Bourdain.

Food Network star Rachael Ray—who was the recipient of criticism from Bourdain over the years—posted a tribute to him on Instagram. “I’m so grateful for a day in honor of a man I respected very deeply,” she wrote. “He was cool and brilliant. Over the years we found common ground through humor, music and food. I miss his wit and presence. Singular man.”

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Sporting a “Choose Love” t-shirt, Bourdain’s former CNN colleague Christiane Amanpour also posted a video message on Twitter. “When I think of you, as [my] t-shirt says, I choose love,” she said. “Love for all the fabulous places, the food, the friendships that you brought us to. And especially love for all the differences that you’ve encouraged us to celebrate.”

Bourdain’s estranged wife, Ottavia Busia, also paid tribute to him for his birthday, posting a throwback video of the chef in the pool with their daughter Ariane.

#BourdainDay has been a trending topic on Twitter throughout the day on Tuesday.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “home” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

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