When Anthony Bourdain passed away earlier this year, the world lost not only one of the best chefs and entertainers but also a personality with a great heart and passion for food, people and the wonders of this world. Bourdain was a rockstar in the world of cooking. In addition, he was a big fan of Thailand in general and Thai food in particular.
Michael Schaller and Anthony Bourdain
Their love for Thailand is not the only thing that Michael and Anthony had in common. Actually, Michael Schaller, who is now the proud owner of the restaurant Steak-Specialists in Chiang Rai met the famous foodlover Anthony Bourdain. "I learned a lot from Anthony Bourdain." Schaller is still a big fan of Bourdain's cooking skills and also of him as a person. "Anthony Bourdain was a caring person with a great heart", says Schaller and remembers the times when he met Anthony.
Schaller had already heard about Bourdain earlier. He remembers: "Just after finishing my training as a professional cook, Bourdain's first book (Kitchen Confidential) was like a bible for me!" Those are some of the reasons why in the restaurant Steak-Specialists, in the north of Thailand, there are several pictures of Bourdain hanging on the walls, as well as in the kitchen.
The legend of Anthony Bourdain
Anthony Bourdain was famous all over the globe. He was one of the most famous TV-chefs in the United States. It was in 1999 that an article in the New Yorker made him suddenly famous. Soon, his books about cooking and the work environment of cooks were translated into several languages and sold worldwide. He not only loved cooking and food but also scandals. And that was what brought him a lot of attention.
He wrote about the bad conditions under which so many people in the gastronomy industry have to work. On TV, he was also a little scandalous when he ate the eyeballs of seals or the testicles of sheep in front of the camera. After a while he started writing police stories. He met for dinner with feminists, extremists, cowboys and with president Obama - always looking for a good story or at least for good food. In his entourage, the word foodporn was created and followed him on his many trips to so many different places in this world.
He visited Thailand and Chiang Rai several times. With passion and love he experimented with Thai food and created new recipes. These still inspire Michael Schaller and his team in Chiang Rai's 1 of the best steakhouse in the north of Thailand.
Anthony Bourdain - always on an adventure
The death of Anthony Bourdain in spring 2018 was a surprise and a shock for his family and his fans. The man who alwaysappeared so confident on TV, also had some troubles in his life. After his alleged suicide, speculations about his state of mindcame up. Most people focused not on his drug addiction and on the times when he struggled, but on the great stories that heshared with us and on the joy that he felt when he was talking about good food. It is sure that he left the world too early. He was 61. His joy of life, his passion for food and his excitement when he was traveling are nevertheless still inspiring for so many people. Among those who were touched by Anthony Bourdain is definitely Michael Schaller who will forever stay a fan of the bad boy of the cooking world.
When you come to the Schallers steak restaurant in Chiang Rai, you will see the pictures of Bourdain on the wall and you will also feel his spirit in the kitchen and on the menu. Michael Schaller is always up to a new creative recipe - entirely in the spirit of Bourdain who obviously loved creative authentic food!
About food porn and Iggy Pop
Anthony Bourdain is associated with the phrase "food porn". Sometimes, when he was talking about a really good meal, it was like porn. He made food sexy and exciting. The term food porn spread all over the world. Millions of people post photos of food that they love on social media. Bourdain would have shared some of them. Others, he would have torn into pieces. Schaller remembers with a smile: "The only thing that Bourdain refused to try was chicken nuggets". He didn't have a lot of respect for fast food. Saying that, he was nevertheless very tolerant. He was always up to listen to the opinions of very different people. In his shows he talked to the Hezbollah, to Chinese militant leaders, to communists and activists against Putin. He was always listening to the other side of the story.
Legendary are the pictures of Bourdain and Iggy Pop, both toplessand showing their muscles and tattoos. A very funny but somehow perfectly matching couple of bad boys, great entertainersand enfants terribles.