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Tom Vitale is still mourning the loss of his dear friend Anthony Bourdain.

The celebrated chef and Emmy-winning TV host tragically took his own life in 2018 at the age of 61 while shooting for his hit series “Parts Unknown” in France.


More recently, Bourdain’s life and legacy have been examined by filmmaker Morgan Neville in a documentary titled “Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain”, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival a few days after the third anniversary of his death. .

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Bourdain’s assistant, Laurie Woolever, also wrote a book called “Bourdain: The Definitive Biography”, which contains nearly 100 interviews with Bourdain’s loved ones, which reflected on his final years.

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Bourdain’s longtime producer and director Vitale wrote his own book titled “In the Weeds” Referring to a kitchen’s bid to back up during a rush. It details how the pair embarked on more than 70 trips around the world together, bringing Bourdain’s show to life.

“After Tony’s death, I didn’t do much,” Vitale admitted to Granthshala News. “I couldn’t go back to work because Tony wouldn’t be there. So in writing this book, it let me keep that job.” [with him] A little longer alive, as strange as it sounds.”

Anthony Bourdain passed away on June 8, 2018.  He was 61 years old.

After years of working as a chef in New York, Bourdain’s book “Kitchen Confidential” propelled him to fame in the Middle Ages. With “Parts Unknown” and other far-flung shows that feasted not only on indigenous foods but on a broad spectrum of culture, history and shared passions, Bourdain quickly became a television icon. Vitale was just 26 when he began collaborating with Bourdain.

“Tony’s public persona and private persona that he was two sides of the same coin,” shared the now-44-year-old. “Tony wasn’t so dramatically different from his on-camera persona… [But] He was shy and more introverted. He was also very funny and brutally honest. He was hilarious and intimidating. Everything was bigger in real life and what made it up in the air.”

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And Vitale made lots of surprising discoveries about his boss and friend during his months-long journey.

Anthony Bourdain as seen here in Paris wasn't a fan of the memes.

“He had a lot of guilty pleasures,” Vitale explained. “He loved the celebrity gossip on Page Six. He loved Popeye’s fried chicken and their macaroni and cheese. It was their comfort food… He had a laundry list of bizarre phobias that he used to treat himself.” Used to joke in the show. I thought a lot of them were humorous, but as time went on, I found out most of them were real. Ordering them nurse shoes, alpine vistas, clowns, room service I had a phobia. He didn’t like flying or germs.”

And working for Bourdain was not for the faint of heart. While Vitale said it was a far cry from “Devil Wears Prada” status, Bourdain was tough and had a no-nonsense approach to filming.

“He was extremely demanding,” Vitale recalled. “He had very high standards about everything. His reaction could be brutal if things didn’t go well. He was relentless in making sure he provided a quality product for people. Along the way He managed the kitchen, you saw a lot of similarities with the TV crew. And the shows got bigger and more popular.”

Tom Vitale said working with Anthony Bourdain wasn't easy - but he wouldn't have had it any other way.

And there were food disasters. Some were comical while others were more frightening. Vitale described how once, a dish covered in flies was presented to the crew that had to be delivered to Borden. And watching animal slaughter over time has never been easier.

“It is not a beautiful thing to see a pig die,” he said. “They scream a lot like humans and bleed a lot.”

But for Vitale, there’s no denying that traveling the world with Bourdain was an eye-opening experience.

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“He loved Southeast Asia,” he said. “It’s just a magical place. It was always such a privilege. He was so excited about that part of the world. We also had an amazing trip to Iran. You heard a lot of stories, but it was an amazing place.” The people there are very kind. I also enjoyed going to Colombia. It was lovely too.”

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But while the crew faced hours of filming and non-stop travel, there was one thing that was always on Bourdain’s mind. That’s when he revealed his much softer side.

“He talked about his family all the time, several times a day,” Vitale said. “I didn’t include much in my book in honor of his family. But he talked about it. [his wife] Ottavia and her daughter all the time… They shared all kinds of stories and how they were so far away from them. It was tough for him.”

According to Tom Vitale, family was always on Anthony Bourdain's mind.

Bourdain’s marriage to Ottavia Busia ended amicably in 2016.

When asked whether Bourdain has ever given the impression that he is depressed or experiencing some personal crisis, Vitale replied, “I mean, all the time.”

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“As long as I knew him,” he explained. “It was just part of his talk, he was grappling with the existential crisis of being in the public eye and yet had this privilege of traveling. It was all too complicated. It can be lonely and isolating. Looking back, yes, these things kind of escalated in the end. But there’s nothing that wasn’t there from the beginning.”

Anthony Bourdain celebrating Tom Vitale's birthday in Sri Lanka.

“I spent a lot of time thinking about the last email, the last conversation, the last real conversation,” Vitale continued. “I’m going to say that my last real conversation with him was the last day we filmed together in Indonesia a few weeks before his death. We had an unusually deep conversation in the middle of the shoot.”

Vitale did not prepare anything for that phone call. He was shocked and saddened by the rest of the world as well.

“I didn’t deal [his death] In a healthy way,” Vitale said. “But I think it will be a big surprise for Tony to see the outbreak of grief and the impact it has had on people’s lives. It certainly doesn’t make things any easier. It just made it more complicated.”

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Tom Vitale said he spoke to Asia Argentina (seen here with Anthony Bourdain) in an attempt to understand the tragic passing of his friend.

To understand why Bourdain would take his own life, Vitale sat down with his girlfriend Asia Argento. For many, his two-year tumultuous relationship with the actress precipitated his death. A few days before Bourdain’s death, photos of him hugging and kissing an Argentine journalist friend were published. Many insisted that those images led to Bourdain’s suicide. The 46-year-old has vehemently denied those allegations, noting that she and Bourdain saw other people out of their relationship.

“I was trying to wrap my head around what happened to Tony,” Vitale said. “I went to see him long before I even thought about writing the book… It’s not my place to judge. I think everyone made mistakes — from Tony to me, everyone. Everyone.”

Vitale said not a day goes by that he doesn’t think about Bourdain. He hopes his book will focus more on his life and achievements – not on his death.

Tom Vitale said he hopes people continue to celebrate the life and legacy of Anthony Bourdain.

“It’s a dark comedy,” he said. “Tony used to talk about how some of your biggest failures and embarrassing moments were the most interesting things to write about. I took his advice. Tony used to say that you can’t laugh if there’s nothing left but to cry. .. I don’t want to be consumed by the way his life ends anymore. I want to enjoy some of our good times. They travel crazy, wild, adventurous years together. I miss that. We all do. “

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).