Restaurant Owner, Whose Life Was Changed By Bourdain, Donates Big

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“Today's a day of extreme sadness for us here at Xi'an Famous Foods. I've lost a dear friend today, and we mourn with the rest of the world.”

 

In a food world filled self-proclaimed mavericks, what set celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain apart was his abiding interest in other people. Not only was Bourdain a talented chef and wordsmith, but he was also a strong promoter of human rights across the globe.

His sudden and tragic death left much of the world speechless.

As people paid tribute to the chef with reminders and support for mental health awareness, a restaurant owner in New York City posted a touching tribute to Bourdain and announced his restaurant would donate 100% of its net sales of a day to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Jason Wang, the son of the founder of NYC restaurant Xi’an Famous Foods, took to Twitter to express his sadness over the chef’s tragic death. He shared the deep impact Bourdain had on his family and business and described how Bourdain’s show “No Reservations” changed his life.

"Today's a day of extreme sadness for us here at Xi'an Famous Foods. I've lost a dear friend today, and we mourn with the rest of the world," he wrote.

 

Wang shared his first impression of Bourdain.

"I remember the time in 2007 when Tony first visited our basement food stall in Flushing for Travel Channel's 'No Reservations' while I was still in college (even though I didn't know who he was at the time)," he wrote. "I remember my father preparing interesting off-menu dishes to get his opinion on when he visited our store."

“While he may have no idea what he has done for our family and business by simply saying he enjoyed the food, I wanted him to know it helped bring our family out from living in one room in Flushing to living the American dream,” Yang wrote on Twitter.

Apart from recounting fond memories, Wang concluded announced that Xi'An Famous Foods will be donating 100% of its net sales of a day to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a sum that Wang said was likely to be between US $50,000 - $60,000.

What’s really remarkable about Bourdain’s death is how many people are sharing their gratitude of how the chef shared their stories with the rest of the world. It goes to show how powerfully connected food is to identity.

Bourdain didn’t just teach us how to travel better; he taught us how to live more adventurously, globally, and generously. He provided us with a deeper understanding and a reminder that despite some differences, we’re all part of the human race and deserve to be treated as such.

Thumbnail, Banner: Reuters, Lucas Jackson

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