Remembering a legend. On Monday, June 8, the second anniversary of Anthony Bourdain‘s death, a clip of him visiting a Waffle House outpost on an old episode of Parts Unknown made its way around the internet.
In the clip, which was shared Monday by Twitter user Erick Fernandez, the chef describes Waffle House with a reverence and glee that is typically reserved for fine-dining establishments.
“It is indeed marvelous,” he said of the Georgia-based chain on his CNN show.
As footage of various Waffle House dishes is shown, Bourdain’s glowing voice-over continued: “An irony-free zone where everything is beautiful and nothing hurts. Where everybody, regardless of race, creed, color or degree of inebriation is welcomed.”
The Kitchen Confidential author added: “Its warm yellow glow, a beacon of hope and salvation, inviting the hungry, the lost, the seriously hammered, all across the south, to come inside. A place of safety and nourishment. It never closes, it is always, always faithful, always there for you.”
The episode aired in 2015, during season 6 of Parts Unknown. In the full-length clip, Chef Sean Brock takes Bourdain to a Waffle House in South Carolina for what is seemingly his first time, as he noted he was “unfamiliar with its ways.”
The culinary pro described the popular chain as a “magical, spiritual place” and after feasting on waffles, eggs, steak and more, the praise only continued.
Bourdain even said the food was “better than the French Laundry” after taking a few bites of his first dish — a pecan waffle slathered in butter and syrup. While the high-end California restaurant from chef Thomas Keller that Bourdain mentioned is often considered one of the best eateries in the world, this clip makes it clear that the former No Reservations star also understood the need for and value of casual chain restaurants with consistently good food.
As the New York native declared, “[Waffle House cuts] “right to the center of what makes our country great.”
For many social media users, the clip is the perfect example of what made Bourdain so special, with one noting he is “forever irreplaceable.” Another added: “The thing I loved about this episode was how puzzling and amazed he was about Waffle House. He truly was a man of the world.”
Bourdain died by suicide in France in June 2018. At the time of his death, he was shooting an episode of Parts Unknown with friend and fellow chef Eric Ripert, who found the revered culinary figure unresponsive in his hotel room. The Layover alum was 61.
If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
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