Wednesday 17 October 2018

'Heaven looks like this' - The touching words Anthony Bourdain wrote in his favourite Irish pub on Dublin visit

Anthony Bourdain outside John Kavanagh The Gravedigger's pub in 2012.
Anthony Bourdain outside John Kavanagh The Gravedigger's pub in 2012.
Anthony Bourdain has been found dead in France (Ian West/PA)
Geraldine Gittens

Geraldine Gittens

Irish chefs and restaurateurs who worked with TV chef Anthony Bourdain in 2012 have paid tribute to the star after his death at the age of 61.

The talented chef, TV host and writer was found dead in his hotel room in France this morning.

Ciarán Kavanagh from John Kavanagh “The Gravediggers” in Dublin says he owes the TV chef for making his pub a popular tourist destination.

“I met him six years ago on Bloomsday in 2012,” Kavanagh told Independent.ie today. “He came in here with Paddy Daly the producer with a crew of eight, who all drank at the same time. He had some food I cooked for him, some traditional food for Bloomsday, he had all the dishes and he really enjoyed them.”

“It blew him away, he’d never been in a place like this before.”

“I owe him a lot because since the show we get so many people coming to us. He signed our visitors’ book and left a quote, it goes something like “your pig’s feet are amazing, your coddle is sublime; heaven looks like this.”

Kavanagh said Bourdain stayed in his company until 3am that day, well after crews had finished filming, and regaled him with tales of travel.

“He normally just films and heads off. But he decided to hang on and he stayed until 3am that night, he was a really nice person to meet and work with.”

“We had a really deep conversation about life and everything, the ups and downs of being a chef, and travelling, everything, and about being broke to being a millionaire in a few years.”

“We really hit it off with each other. When he was doing his tours around the States, people would ask him about his favourite places and he’d say Dublin the Gravediggers, we were in his top five places to drink in the world.”

“It was just an amazing day."

Meanwhile, Joe Macken, who owns Dublin restaurants like Jo' Burger, Skinflint, and Crackbird, remembers Bourdain's "mad curiosity" which helped him sustain life on the road.

"He had a mad curiosity which kept him going. I was with him for three days over a weekend and I couldn’t get over his curiosity. We went for a pint in the Long Hall pub and we met two tourists who wanted a whurley burger he wanted to try one too, and up we all went to Roma II [a Dublin takeaway]."

“Whether he’s in Laos or Cambodia, he was always fascinated by what the working man eats."

Meanwihle, Paddy Daly from Yoke Productions said:

“He was a very decent man, and my experience of working with him was that he was just a very intelligent, bright, fully considered, globally savvy man."

"There was no ego. He liked the underdog. When it came to food, he was all about the experience, in that it didn’t have to come from a Michelin star restaurant. He loved street food, he was so way ahead in that regard, he was discovering it before it became fashionable."

Meanwhile, Jamie Oliver wrote on Instagram: "I have to say I'm in total shock to hear that the amazing @anthonybourdain has just died.

"He really broke the mould, pushed the culinary conversation and was the most brilliant writer ... he leaves chefs and fans around the world with a massive foodie hole that simply can't be replaced ... rest in peace chef.

"Thoughts and love to all his family and close friends xxxxxxxxxxx"

Irish restaurateur Joe Macken, who owns Dublin's Jo Burger, Crackbird, and Skinflint, worked with the star chef for his popular Layover show.

Macken says he is still processing the news that his hero has died.

“I can’t believe it... I grew up watching him, he was my hero.”

"He had a mad curiosity which kept him going... I couldn’t get over his curiosity. We went for a pint in the Long Hall and we met two tourists who wanted a whurley burger and he wanted to try it too so up we went to Roma II [a Dublin takeaway]."

“Whether he’s in Laos or Cambodia, he’s fascinated by what the working man eats. I think he was astounded by what we ate – with the whurley burger," Macken joked.

Gordon Ramsay has said he is "stunned and saddened" by the news of Anthony Bourdain's death, sharing the phone number for the Samaritans' support service on social media

He wrote: "Stunned and saddened by the loss of Anthony Bourdain. He brought the world into our homes and inspired so many people to explore cultures and cities through their food.

"Remember that help is a phone call away US:1-800-273-TALK UK: 116 123."

Nigella Lawson said she has been left "heartbroken" by the news.

"Heartbroken to hear about Tony Bourdain's death. Unbearable for his family and girlfriend. Am going off twitter for a while," she wrote on Twitter.

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