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The Daily Dish

Marcus Samuelsson Reveals His "Happiest Moments" With Anthony Bourdain

The chef, who is embarking on his own food TV series, reflected on his late friend's influence.

By Tamara Palmer
Top Chef Season 15 Contestants Remember Anthony Bourdain

As New York chef Marcus Samuelsson prepares to debut his own PBS food travel TV series No Passport Required, he's reflecting on his friendship with the late Anthony Bourdain and how Bourdain had been a major influence in his life for more than two decades.

"Tony has been hugely influential to me for over 20 years," he told Metro. "Kitchen Confidential probably paved the way for Yes, Chef, my memoir. There was no such thing as a chef’s memoir before, at least not in my field, before Kitchen Confidential." Marcus has also released four cookbooks.

Their friendship thrived at home and on the road, he recalled.

"Tony influenced me deeply by working and being around him many, many times, whether we were having a drink at a bar in New York or traveling to Ethiopia together," he said.

Marcus absorbed a lot by watching how his friend moved through the world. 

"Tony was an amazing storyteller, be he was also an amazing listener. That’s what I learned from him. Some of my happiest moments with Tony is being deep in the village of my wife, where he’s just drinking coffee with butter or watching over someone chopping up innards and he can’t wait to get his hands and eat on that. Just not being afraid to be somewhere else is something I learned from Tony."

No Passport Required will benefit from Marcus' experience appearing on Anthony's show and knowing him as well as he did.

"We talked about his show a lot as we were doing it. He gave me advice. Not just from a professional standpoint, but as a friend, he’s deeply missed," he said. "I thank him for everything he did for the culture and for our industry and connecting people. He was deeply interested in connecting people from different stories."

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