Beyond the kitchen: Communication lessons from Anthony Bourdain

In work and in life, the celebrity chef and author transcended cultures, countries and careers. Here are takeaways from his culinary adventures, his social stances and his vivid storytelling.

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Anthony Bourdain left an indelible impression.

His storied culinary career, launched from a single article in The New Yorker, got him a book deal, which led to success and celebrity status.

His energy, intellect and insatiable curiosity transcended countries and cultures. From Bourdain, who died June 8, we have learned many important cross-cultural lessons that can benefit PR and marketing practitioners and global citizens.

Many of us struggle to find ways to connect across boundaries and cultures, and we seek ways to be relevant and relatable. Bourdain did not suffer that affliction.

Here are lessons from Chef Bourdain’s work and his life:

Live simply, and without pretense. Bourdain comprehended the value of the shared experience. Cultures have distinctive ways through food and cuisine to differentiate themselves. Bourdain shared meals with the famous and the not so famous in “Parts Unknown” and he sought out distinctive dishes, flavors and settings.  It is in the simplicity of the connection through a shared experience and understanding that he could connect cross-culturally. Bourdain had even more: He lacked pretense.

Los Angeles Times article stated:

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