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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Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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