The news of Anthony Bourdain's death has stunned all of us here at Serious Eats. The food world has lost its preeminent storyteller, and we are all the poorer for it.
Tony and I weren't really friends, only casual acquaintances. But when you work in the relatively small industry of food media, you inevitably end up meeting its brightest stars, and occasionally, if you're fortunate, you get to work with them. And while I didn't always agree with Tony's pronouncements about food culture, I find myself extremely saddened and moved by his death.
What is undeniable is that Tony changed the food media landscape forever. His work was imbued with real emotion—he never lost sight of the humanity of the people responsible for producing the food we love to eat, and he managed to tell their stories with a facility that bordered on poetry. His professional success was heartening to everyone in the business because it meant that there was a global audience for in-depth storytelling about food and those who make it.
Tony will be missed by serious eaters everywhere who recognized that even in food, there is a need for speaking truth to power. His voice is irreplaceable.