Here are some of the lesser known ways Bourdain gave back.
After hearing that he inspired a teenage bone cancer patient’s dream to take a foodie road trip
, Bourdain donated $3,600 to the teen’s cause and helped him reach his fundraising goal.
Bourdain also invited a Hodgkin’s lymphoma patient to meet and eat with him in New York as part of her wish
with Make-A-Wish Arizona.
Upon meeting a young leukemia patient
at a book signing in St. Louis — a boy who binge-watched Bourdain’s TV shows while in the hospital — Bourdain answered the young foodie’s question about where to find the best seafood. The reply? Spain. And he even gave the boy a list of restaurants to visit.
He did charity work
After wearing his Ernst Benz watch
for years, Bourdain decided to sell it on eBay last year. The winning bid was $3,127 and the proceeds went to a group that raises money for wounded post-9/11 veterans.
Bourdain hosted a benefit in March 2016 that supported New York’s Urban Assembly Bronx Academy of Letters, which focuses on teaching its students writing and communication skills to prepare for college.
He also let people roast him for a good cause. A for-charity event that kicked off the 2012 New York City Wine & Food Festival saw cooks and comedians gather to make fun of Bourdain to his face. The $400 tickets for the event
were sold out.
He produced a film about food waste
Aside from his career in food and storytelling, Bourdain was also a key force in a 2017 documentary
, “WASTED! The Story of Food Waste,” which explores why food waste happens, interviews chefs who use every scrap and suggests how the problem can be fixed.
He published a book of a woman’s restaurant reviews
After a woman’s upbeat newspaper review of the new Olive Garden in her town of Grand Forks, North Dakota, her comments went viral. While some made fun of Marilyn Hagerty’s take on the restaurant chain, Bourdain stepped in and encouraged her, then helped her publish a book
of 100 of her reviews.