A restaurant chain CEO in New York City has written a touching tribute to the late chef Anthony Bourdain, whom he credits with helping his family achieve the American dream.
Jason Wang’s family Chinese food business, Xi’an Famous Foods, started very humbly in the Flushing, Queens, neighborhood of New York City.
However, after Bourdain’s 2007 visit to what was then their single location in the basement of a shopping mall for his “No Reservations” Travel Channel series, business boomed.
“I approached Tony and told him, while he may have no idea what he has done for our family and business by simply saying he enjoyed the food, I wanted him to know it helped bring our family out from living in one room in Flushing to living the American dream,” Wang wrote in a Facebook post.
Xi’an Famous Foods now has a dozen locations around New York City.
In addition to the family, Wang said Bourdain’s visit opened opportunities for the restaurant’s staff. When he told the chef that, Wang said Bourdain humbly took no credit.
“I looked at him in the eyes and said, this is something we will always be thankful for, Tony. And he simply replied, ‘I’m just calling out good food like it is, that’s all,'” Wang wrote.
In Bourdain’s honor, Wang said he would donate one day’s profits to the suicide prevention hotline.
Bourdain died Friday after what authorities say was a suicide in his hotel room in France.
A worldwide outpouring of grief quickly followed, as legions of the larger-than-life chef’s fans, friends and family struggled to come to terms with the shocking loss.
Along with that of designer Kate Spade, Bourdain’s death has also shone a light on America’s rising suicide rate.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, day or night, at 1-800-273-8255.