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Remembering Anthony Bourdain

By Will Lacey

Oh, where are my manners? I can’t start this budding relationship without introducing myself…you

know, first impressions and all. My name is Will Lacey and I will be your sherpa into the food and

beverage news (or what I consider news) for Columbia’s freshest, as the kids say, media outlet: Cola Crescent.

Join me as we discuss food history, food culture, food reviews, (I’m telling you now, it’s only positive

reviews. People that leave savage reviews can sit at the kid’s table, not my table) share a beverage or two, and get to know one another.

But for the first article, I am going to hit you right in the feels. Sorry, not sorry. It’s a subject I am

passionate about and will always work to break the stigma. Yes, we are going to talk about mental

health and depression with a side of anxiety. It is an issue across the board in the US, but I have

experienced and seen this far too many times within the food and beverage industry. So, this is relevant to my articles, I promise.

Recently the food and beverage industry lost an idol, Anthony Bourdain, to suicide. Personally speaking, it hurt. It hurt bad. And I was not surprised to see this feeling shared by many across the world wide interwebs. Countless posts paying tribute to a man that many of us wanted to be sprung up, even more posts with Suicide Hotline numbers and funds being donated to “break the stigma.” It was certainly nice to see the support for this cause being shared, and I hope this will continue. I truly do. There are countless issues and events that dominate the news, and constantly catch our attention and dedication. It can be overwhelming, but this is one I’ve lived with and it is my hope that we are able to continue to make progress. Without letting my strong feelings on this issue take me on a long-winded rant, I will wrap this paragraph up by saying that getting through mental health awareness and support will take a lot of patience. Depression can, without meaning to, effect those around the person suffering from the disease. Take it from me, we don’t mean for it to. The darkness just spreads. There won’t always be a clear way to speak to someone, nor will there be an obvious gesture that can bring someone to clarity. But take it from me, the support and good will is appreciated. It is horrifyingly terrifying for people to ponder the empty, alone, and helpless feeling one feels before taking their life. If you believe you are “too strong” to ever feel this way and view suicide as selfish and weak, learn some empathy. Many hands make light work, and we have a lot of work to do.

If you are reading this, you are loved and appreciated. Sometimes talking about these issues and what you are feeling can be difficult. As millennial as it may sound, text someone. It can be easier to talk about it. This writer is certainly here for you and believes in you.

Now back to it. I would like to thank Anthony Bourdain for all that he did for me. Of course, he never knew I existed, but I immensely respect what he stood for and am appreciative for how he shaped my life and career. When I first started doing small dinners for friends and family, before I ever charged anyone for anything or won any awards, I read all his books. His gift of storytelling was ever present and would take me back to listening to tales from family and family friends at the beaches of South Carolina growing up. He cemented my belief in food’s ability to bring people together. To bring people together, that otherwise we may not interact with. At a table, you become family, and this is undoubtedly one of the more special aspects of life. I celebrate the ability to turn strangers to friends and friends into family. It is truly beautiful.

I would like to thank Anthony Bourdain for being real. He helped me become comfortable with who I am, the bad and the good with my early growth in the kitchen, which helped me find myself in life. The countless episodes steeped in the interaction with those unlike himself brought me out of many dark periods in my life. I found comfort of stepping out of comfort zones. It gave me hope. It gave me something to work toward. It gave me courage. This acknowledgment of who we are personally and professionally gives us the opportunity to share ourselves at the table, breaking bread. This, too, is truly beautiful.

Most importantly, I want to thank each of you for reading this. I am eager to continue sharing my views on various aspects of the food and beverage world. It is a remarkable industry that continues to provide platforms for the gathering of such a beautiful variation of people. In the meantime, you be you. Eat your veggies, and tip well.

***Moving forward, if there are any restaurants, food history, or recipes that you would like us to

cover, please do not hesitate to reach out and tell me to get to work.

45 views1 comment



Thanks for wrriting

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