Anthony Bourdain’s letter to rock star’s distressed daughter: ‘I had your Daddy’s back — just like he had mine’

/ 05:08 PM July 03, 2018

Anthony Bourdain. Image: AFP

The passing of chef, author and travel show host Anthony Bourdain last June 8 left many of his fans grasping at straws, caught between moving forward and accepting his absence. To the uninitiated, Bourdain can easily be passed off as a man who probably had the best job in the planet: to eat everything and travel all over the world.

But for those who’ve witnessed Bourdain from his beginnings, he was so much more. Before his memoir “Kitchen Confidential” hit the shelves in 2000, the layman’s perception of fine-dining restaurants was that of luxurious and indulgent experiences, perhaps assuming that the same can be said for the people in the kitchen. But it wasn’t.


Beyond food, Bourdain shared stories of the rampant sex and drug abuse in the culinary profession, and spoke greatly of the unspoken backbone of the dining world which largely consisted of social rejects and immigrants.

It comes difficult, then, for many of his fans and loved ones, that such a man — who explored not just food but the deepest complexities of the human condition — is no longer around. One such man is musician Josh Homme, frontman of rock band Queens of the Stone Age and a good friend of Bourdain.


Homme took to his Twitter last June 30 to share to his fans a letter Bourdain once wrote to Homme’s young daughter, Camille, after she got upset over a promo for a “Parts Unknown” episode. In the promo, Bourdain was shown smashing one of Homme’s guitars, a sight that disturbed the young girl.

“Tony, I miss you bad. Once, Camille was so mad at you. She was defending me. & So were you,” wrote the Queens of the Stone Age twitter account. “Ariane, this was your father. Humbly yours, Joshua.”

Bourdain has a young daughter as well named Ariane with ex-wife Ottavia Busia. Upon discovering Camille’s reaction to the promo video, Bourdain penned a letter to her where he explained what really happened.

“Dear Camille,” wrote Bourdain in the letter. “I hear you were very upset with me after seeing the promo for this show, which I filmed recently with your Daddy and his friends. You saw me take Daddy’s guitar and smash it against a tree and I’m sure that was upsetting.”


Bourdain gently assured Camille that it wasn’t her father’s guitar he smashed. “Know that that was in fact, not really Daddy’s guitar, and that we were both just playing around,” Bourdain said.

“I like your Daddy so much, that when an obnoxious superfan of mine at a magical place called Pappy and Harriet’s got up in Daddys’ face — had your Daddy not gentlly guided him… I would have broken my beer glass across the man’s skull and then jabbed the jagged remnants into his ****ing neck.”

“That’s the kind of guy I am,” Bourdain added. “I had your Daddy’s back — just like he had mine.”

The letter struck many fans of Bourdain, who replied to Homme’s tweet as they remembered the great chef.

“It’s impossible to read this and not hear Anthony’s voice,” wrote songwriter Nicole Simone last June 29.

“Oh my god. I just realized I did read it in his voice,” wrote a certain Jo on the same day. “I’m so sad and heartbroken again!”

Truly, the passing of Bourdain comes as a truth hard to accept, especially to those whose lives had been touched by his influence. He had a specific way with words, sharp and at times laced with profanities, but always with tenderness and reverence for the food he ate, the places he went to, and the people he met around the world. Bourdain was a rebel at heart, a rockstar who celebrated life in all of its forms. JB


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TAGS: "Parts Unknown", Anthony Bourdain, Josh Homme, Kitchen Confidential, Queens of the Stone Age, Suicide
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