Viet Nam News
By Paul Kennedy
HÀ NỘI — Staff and customers at the restaurant made famous the world over thanks to Anthony Bourdain have paid tribute to the celebrity chef who tragically took his own life on Friday.
Bourdain filmed many scenes for his television show, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, in Viet Nam and even dined with former president Barack Obama in Hanoi.
The two men ate at Hương Liên on Lê Văn Hưu Street in 2016 and since then many visitors have flocked to the restaurant.
One of the owners, Nguyễn Hằng Nga, said she was broken-hearted when she heard the news. The chef had died.
Nga said: “When I heard the news, I was very devastated and heartbroken. He was a talented man. His death is a big loss for the culinary world.
“He was very friendly when he came here. My family really appreciated what he did in introducing Vietnamese cuisine and our restaurant to the world.
“We will always remember him.”
Customer Marc Arasim was dining at the venue on Saturday, less than 24 hours after the chef was found dead in a Paris hotel.
Marc said he had eaten at many of the restaurants featured in the CNN show, on the recommendation of Bourdain.
“I know he was in love with Việt Nam and the dishes here. He always points the map. He always comes to where the street food is to eat. I visited many places in Hội An, in search of the excellent food that he’s eaten.”
After his death on Friday, Obama tweeted a photograph of the two men sat eating and drinking Hà Nội beer at the restaurant.
The former US President wrote: "This is how I’ll remember Tony. He taught us about food - but more importantly, about its ability to bring us together. To make us a little less afraid of the unknown. We’ll miss him."
Bourdain quotes about Việt Nam from the show Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown:
"All of the things I need for happiness: Low plastic stool, check. Tiny little plastic table, check. Something delicious in a bowl, check."
"This is the way so many great meals in my life have been enjoyed: sitting in the street, eating something out of a bowl that I’m not exactly sure what it is, scooters going by. It’s so delicious, I feel like an animal."
On eating bún bò Huế at the city’s Đông Ba market: "People are put on earth for various purposes; I was put on earth to do this. Eat noodles right here."
"I would definitely bring a date for [bún bò Huế]. Because if she doesn’t like this, there’s no hope of a relationship.” — VNS