Today Is “Bourdain Day” – Here’s How You Can Honor the Late Culinary Icon

updated Jun 25, 2019
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It’s been over a year since this world lost one of the greatest advocates for sitting down and sharing a meal with strangers, and it seems hard to think of a way to rightfully honor the man who led us down Hanoi alleys and through the hidden intricacies of street food around the world. But two of Anthony Bourdain’s best friends and industry leaders, Eric Ripert and José Andrés, are going to do their darndest to honor him as best they can — and help the rest of us do it too.

Rather than use the one-year anniversary of his death — June 8 — they’ve chosen what would have been his 63rd birthday, June 25 – today! “We don’t want people to take advantage of it [Bourdain’s death],” Ripert told TODAY. “That’s why we have been proactive in creating this day. We have made it easy for everyone to celebrate Anthony.”

The idea is that today, everyone who wants to pay tribute to the star can upload a photo of themselves toasting to Tony on any form of social media and tag it with the #BourdainDay tag, creating a digital memorial. The duo has already uploaded their own video of themselves making a toast to kick off the celebration of their friend.

The motivation behind the social media push is based on what they say is one of the driving parts of Bourdain’s personality — approachability. “He was so popular that he couldn’t walk in the street without being stopped. But he was really, really good with his fans,” Ripert said. “[He] always posed for pictures and was incredibly patient.”

In addition to the democratic celebration, there will be a scholarship set up at Bourdain’s former school, the Culinary Institute of America, “dedicated to students pursuing a semester abroad or international experience in global cuisine.”