60+ Anthony Bourdain Quotes about Travel, Food and Life (CHEF)

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Hungry for traveling? Discover these amazing quotes by intrepid world traveler and American celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain.


Anthony Bourdain Quotes on Travel

1. “Travel is about the gorgeous feeling of teetering in the unknown.”

"Travel is about the gorgeous feeling of teetering in the unknown.”Travel is about the gorgeous feeling of teetering in the unknown.” Anthony Bourdain

2. “I think food, culture, people and landscape are all absolutely inseparable.”

3. “If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. The extent to which you can walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food, it’s a plus for everybody.”

4. “Open your mind, get up off the couch, move.”

5. “If you’re twenty-two, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel – as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them – wherever you go.”

6. “I wanted adventures… I wanted kicks – the kind of melodramatic thrills and chills I’d yearned for since childhood, the kind of adventure I’d found as a little boy in the pages of my Tintin comic books. I wanted to see the world – and I wanted the world to be just like the movies.”

7. It seems that the more places I see and experience, the bigger I realize the world to be. Anthony Bourdain Share on X

8. “Drink heavily with locals whenever possible.”

9. “The more I become aware of, the more I realize how relatively little I know of it, how many places I have still to go, how much more there is to learn.”

10. “Maybe that’s enlightenment enough – to know that there is no final resting place of the mind, no moment of smug clarity. Perhaps wisdom, at least for me, means realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go.”

11. “It’s an irritating reality that many places and events defy description. Angkor Wat and Machu Picchu, for instance, seem to demand silence, like a love affair you can never talk about. For a while after, you fumble for words, trying vainly to assemble a private narrative, an explanation, a comfortable way to frame where you’ve been and whats happened. In the end, you’re just happy you were there – with your eyes open – and lived to see it.”

12. “The journey is part of the experience – an expression of the seriousness of one’s intent. One doesn’t take the A train to Mecca.”

13. “Plans should be ephemeral, so be prepared to move away from them.”

"Plans should be ephemeral, so be prepared to move away from them.” Anthony Bourdain

14. “I learned a long time ago that trying to micromanage the perfect vacation is always a disaster. That leads to terrible times.”

15. “I’m a big believer in winging it. I’m a big believer that you’re never going to find perfect city travel experience or the perfect meal without a constant willingness to experience a bad one. Letting the happy accident happen is what a lot of vacation itineraries miss, I think, and I’m always trying to push people to allow those things to happen rather than stick to some rigid itinerary.”

16. “Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.”

17. “When dealing with complex transportation issues, the best thing to do is pull up with a cold beer and let somebody else figure it out.”

18. Drink heavily with locals whenever possible. Anthony Bourdain Share on X

19. “Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed popemobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafes and McDonald’s? Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria’s mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head?”

20. “Nothing unexpected or wonderful is likely to happen if you have an itinerary in Paris filled with the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower.”

Related: Watch Anthony Bourdain’s Travels


Anthony Bourdain Quotes on Food

21. “Your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.”

"Your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.” Anthony Bourdain

22. “To me, life without veal stock, pork fat, sausage, organ meat, demi-glace, or even stinky cheese is a life not worth living.”

23. “You learn a lot about someone when you share a meal together.”

24. “I, personally, think there is a real danger of taking food too seriously. Food should be part of the bigger picture.”

25. “I’ve long believed that good food, good eating, is all about risk. Whether we’re talking about unpasteurized Stilton, raw oysters or working for organized crime ‘associates,’ food, for me, has always been an adventure”

26. “An egg in anything makes it better.”

27. “There’s something wonderful about drinking in the afternoon. A not-too-cold pint, absolutely alone at the bar – even in this fake-ass Irish pub.”

28. Good food is very often, even most often, simple food. Anthony Bourdain Share on X

29. “And now to sleep, to dream… perchance to fart.”

30. “Food is everything we are. It’s an extension of nationalist feeling, ethnic feeling, your personal history, your province, your region, your tribe, your grandma. It’s inseparable from those from the get-go.”

31. “You have to be romantic to invest yourself, your money, and your time in cheese.”

32. “Meals make the society, hold the fabric together in lots of ways that were charming and interesting and intoxicating to me. The perfect meal, or the best meals, occur in a context that frequently has very little to do with the food itself.”

33. “You can dress brunch up with all the focaccia, smoked salmon, and caviar in the world, but it’s still breakfast.”

34. “Food is everything we are. It’s an extension of nationalist feeling, ethnic feeling, your personal history, your province, your region, your tribe, your grandma. It’s inseparable from those from the get-go.”

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Anthony Bourdain Quotes on Cooking

35. “The way you make an omelet reveals your character.”

"The way you make an omelet reveals your character." Anthony Bourdain

36. “An ounce of sauce covers a multitude of sins.”

37. “The mishandling of food and equipment with panache was always admired; to some extent, this remains true to this day.”

38. “But I do think the idea that basic cooking skills are a virtue, that the ability to feed yourself and a few others with proficiency should be taught to every young man and woman as a fundamental skill, should become as vital to growing up as learning to wipe one’s own ass, cross the street by oneself, or be trusted with money.”

39. “For me, the cooking life has been a long love affair, with moments both sublime and ridiculous.”

40. Barbecue may not be the road to world peace, but it’s a start. Anthony Bourdain Share on X

41. “Generally speaking, the good stuff comes in on Tuesday: the seafood is fresh, the supply of prepared food is new, and the chef, presumably, is relaxed after his day off.”

42. “Cooking is a craft, I like to think, and a good cook is a craftsman—not an artist. There’s nothing wrong with that: the great cathedrals of Europe were built by craftsmen—though not designed by them. Practicing your craft in expert fashion is noble, honorable and satisfying.”


Anthony Bourdain Quotes on Life

43. “I am not afraid to look like an idiot.”

"I am not afraid to look like an idiot." Anthony Bourdain

44. “There is no Final Resting Place of the Mind.”

45. “I’m through being cool. Or, more accurately, I’m through entertaining the notion that anybody could even consider the possibility of coolness emanating from or residing anywhere near me.”

46. “As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life – and travel – leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks – on your body or on your heart – are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt.”

47. “Without experimentation, a willingness to ask questions and try new things, we shall surely become static, repetitive, and moribund.”

48. Skills can be taught. Character you either have or you don't have. Anthony Bourdain Share on X

49. “Luck is not a business model.”

50. “But I’m simply not going to deceive anybody about the life as I’ve seen it. It’s all here: the good, the bad and the ugly.”

51. “Without new ideas, success can become stale.”

52. “What are our expectations? Which of the things we desire are within reach? If not now, when? And will there be some left for me?”

53. I don't have to agree with you to like you or respect you. Anthony Bourdain Share on X

54. “I have a tattoo on my arm, that says, in ancient Greek, ‘I am certain of nothing.’ I think that’s a good operating principle.”

55. “Under ‘Reasons for Leaving Last Job,’ never give the real reason, unless it’s money or ambition.”

56. “Perhaps wisdom. . . is realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go.”

57. “If you’re a writer, particularly if you’re a writer or a storyteller of any kind, there is something already kind of monstrously wrong with you.”

58. “Give the people you work with or deal with or have relationships with the respect to show up at the time you said you were going to. And by that I mean, every day, always and forever. Always be on time.”

59. If I believe in anything, it is doubt. The root cause of all life’s problems is looking for a simple f—ing answer. Anthony Bourdain Share on X

60. “It’s very rarely a good career move to have a conscience.”

61. “I’m not going anywhere. I hope. It’s been an adventure. We took some casualties over the years. Things got broken. Things got lost. But I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.”

62. “[When I die], I will decidedly not be regretting missed opportunities for a good time. My regrets will be more along the lines of a sad list of people hurt, people let down, assets wasted and advantages squandered.”



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Featured image: Peabody Awards, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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