In the months before his shocking death at 61 years old, chef Anthony Bourdain spoke to Popula about everything from the #MeToo movement to “entitled, rapey, gropey, grabby, disgusting” Bill Clinton to how he imagined Harvey Weinstein could die (it involves falling into a bathtub). But he also covered some more joyous topics, including his “happiest” moments while traveling.
“If I spend a couple thousand dollars on sushi for two, I don’t feel guilty about that,” the No Reservations host told interviewer Maria Bustillos while the two were discussing the privileges of wealth and traveling (and, to an extent, the guilt that comes with it). “I do find that my happiest moments on the road are not standing on the balcony of a really nice hotel. That’s a sort of bittersweet — if not melancholy — alienating experience, at best. My happiest moments on the road are always off-camera, generally with my crew, coming back from shooting a scene and finding ourselves in this sort of absurdly beautiful moment, you know, laying on a flatbed on those things that go on the railroad track, with a putt-putt motor, goin’ across like, the rice paddies in Cambodia with headphones on… this is luxury, because I could never have imagined having the freedom or the ability to find myself in such a place, looking at such things.”
Bourdain continued, “To sit alone or with a few friends, half-drunk under a full moon, you just understand how lucky you are; it’s a story you can’t tell. It’s a story you almost by definition, can’t share. I’ve learned in real time to look at those things and realize: I just had a really good moment.”
To read the rest of the wide-ranging interview, head to Popula.