Under the Rosemary

Letter to Bourdain (well, Internet)


Dear Bourdain (well, Internet),

I was the kid at family parties reading a book in the corner amidst all of the commotion. When I found Bourdain’s books, I clutched onto them as a party reading essential and got absolutely lost in his wit and storytelling, as it was a version of Bourdain I hadn’t met during the evening binges I shared with my dad watching “No Reservations.” I’d haul his books back to the library only to exhaust their renewal policy or check it out again shortly after.

Years later, I would feel a slight sting looking at his book covers because they’d remind me of having to turn down my acceptance to the culinary school he had attended. With time, it stung a little less and became bearable to watch him on the screen without feeling heartbroken.

Today, the heartbreak returns and takes a new form. I’m thinking about his daughter. His peers. The millions he inspired. If you are having thoughts of suicide, hold on a bit longer and talk to someone. (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 1-800-273-8255, or the Suicide Crisis Line, at 1-800-784-2433, or text 741741.)

For me, this loss comes at time when I’ve been planning how to bring food back to Under the Rosemary. My hope moving forward with those ideas is to combine them with what made me fall in love with the culinary world in the first place— storytelling. Thank you Bourdain for showing us a world in which food is dimensional, political, and whose impacts last longer than the time it spends on a plate.

Sylvana Uribe