Part 3 – The DeathbedFood Series: Krista Simmons on Bourdain.
Tony taught Krista Simmons to seek beauty in humanity.
Everyone has their 15 minutes, right? Mine was being included in the “Best Foodies To Follow On Twitter In LA” by CBS LA in 2012. First I saw that @EaterLA with 275K followers was on top. No surprise. But then, there it was, @DeathbedFood! I took a double take, then a triple take. To follow @EaterLA? I could die. But then I saw @kristasimmons with 12K followers right there near my name. KRISTA SIMMONS!
Next to Jonathan Gold, Krista is one of the preeminent food writers in Los Angeles. Maybe more influential than Gold given her appearances on TV (Top Chef Masters, Hell’s Kitchen, The Today Show) and articles in Travel +Leisure, Departures and Los Angeles Times. Or her cool @kristasimmons Insta account with 27K followers where she shares her world travel adventures.
Krista may have written my favorite tribute to Anthony Bourdain. As she says in her post below, Tony taught her so many things. I’d second that. Behold a truly moving piece by Krista Simmons.
Today we lost one of the greats – a powerful voice who not only cast a light on the corners of the hospitality industry, but inspired us to see the world through a unique and beautiful lens.
When I first interviewed Bourdain in March 2009, I was admittedly a total fan girl trying my best to be professional while speaking to one of my long-time heroes. Like many, I idolized Bourdain for his incredible writing, unrivaled wit, and the style with which he approached his craft. When I posted the question of what he’d like to do when this dream job he’d created for himself was done, he replied, ‘Much later, when it’s all over, I’d like to teach a little bit. I’d like to teach creative writing to fifth graders or even English 101.’
What he didn’t realize is that he already was a teacher to many, including me.
He taught us to explore the parts of our planet unknown, without reservations. He taught us to see the beautify in the humblest of jobs, from the dishwashers to the street hawkers. Once a cook himself, he was the classic tale of a phoenix rising from the ashes – a chef with a troubled past turned world renowned reporter, traversing the world and sharing it with us, one eye poppingly gorgeous episode at a time.
His recent work at CNN is some of the most incredibly cinematic storytelling I’ve seen, not just within the culinary travel space, but in television, period. He’s that guy who everyone in the industry wanted to work with – the one who pushes boundaries, who dares directors to delve into their wildest ideas, always pushing for more.
Without even knowing it, he’s taught me so much: to entertain the outlandish; to indulge my appetite for adventure; to cultivate creativity with, and in, the people I work alongside; and most importantly to seek beauty in the parts of humanity that often are overlooked.
The game has been forever changed by Anthony Bourdain and none of us will ever be the same. May he Rest In Peace.