Kansas City native and food writer remembers time with Bourdain in KC

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Chef, author, and host Anthony Bourdain died at age 61. CNN confirmed Bourdain’s death Friday. 

His storytelling and travels gave many people a window to the world through food, and he showed Kansas City to the world as well. 

Bourdain once wrote of Joe’s Kansas City, “It’s the best BBQ in Kansas City which makes it the best BBQ in the world.” 

That was part of an article he penned in Men’s Health Magazine several years ago when he put it on a short list of one of the 13 places to eat before you die. 

Joe’s Kansas City tweeted a photo of Bourdain Friday morning.

On one of his visits to shoot an episode of “No Reservations” in 2011, he went to Joe’s Kansas City again with KC native, food writer, and photographer Bonjwing Lee.

“Everyone learned a lot from him,” he said. “He wasn’t just about fluff, but it was really about showing people what’s outside of their region.” 

Lee said Bourdain had asked him to take him to his favorite spot for that episode.

“What I really appreciated about what Anthony Bourdain did for food was that he was very frank and honest about it,” he said. “And he traveled to places in the world that very few got to see and got to taste, and so I think he made the world a smaller place in terms of food and gave people access to cultures they wouldn’t otherwise necessarily have contact with and that was great.” 

Bourdain also went to Woodyard BBQ with the band the Black Keys. He made other stops at LC’s and Green Dirt Farm while he was in town. 

A spokesperson for Joe’s Kansas City said “We’re sad and shocked” when asked about the news of Bourdain’s passing. 

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