Known for his sharp wit and even sharper tastebuds, Anthony Bourdain knows no boundaries with his food journeys across the globe. Here are a few pearls of wisdom for the young and less-traveled, straight from the chef himself.

1. “Good food is very often, even most often, simple food.”

pasta, noodle, ramen, vegetable
Melissa Cannarozzo

In other words, you don’t need a 5-course meal to enjoy your time. Sometimes, all you need is a solid cup of ramen.

2. “To me, life without veal stock, pork fat, sausage, organ meat, demi-glace, or even stinky cheese is a life not worth living.”

Luna Zhang

Life’s too short to not eat all the bacon you want. Looks like Anthony Bourdain is on the meat lovers’ side this time…

3. “Oh, I’ll accommodate [vegetarians]. I’ll rummage around for something to feed them, for a ‘vegetarian plate,’ if called on to do so. Fourteen dollars for a few slices of grilled eggplant and zucchini suits my food cost fine.”

vegetable, squash, zucchini, cucumber, courgette, marinated cucumber, sweet
Kirby Barth

This one’s for those on a serious college budget. Surely, I’m not the only one who’s been ripped off by a $12 veggie sandwich?

4. “Don’t touch my dick, don’t touch my knife.”

vegetable, herb
Allan Mai

Pretty self-explanatory, if you ask me.

5. “You have to be a romantic to invest yourself, your money, and your time in cheese.”

#cheese, #shreddedcheese, #cheesegrater, #cooking, #photography, #foodprep, #food
Yasmeen Aboulhawa

Cheese is love. Cheese is life.

6. “Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.”

water, surf, Surfing, Hawaii, Wave, waves, Beach, Ocean, beaches, Summer, vacation, holiday
Denise Uy

Because with every step comes fear and pain, but also lessons to learn and happiness to gain.

7. “Don’t lie about it. You made a mistake. Admit it and move on. Just don’t do it again. Ever.”

One of the first steps to adulthood is accepting and admitting that you messed up, and there’s no shame in doing so.

8. “The journey is part of the experience — an expression of the seriousness of one’s intent. One doesn’t take the A train to Mecca.”
Photo courtesy of

Because it’s not about where you end up, but how you get to where you are, and the experiences you gained on the way.

9. “That without experimentation, a willingness to ask questions and try new things, we shall surely become static, repetitive, moribund.”
steak, filet mignon
Spencer Hutchison

Join a club you never thought you’d be committed to, switch your major for the nth time, and try foods you’ve never tried before. College is the time for experimenting, kids!

10. “Without new ideas success can become stale.”

Even if you're making it, challenge yourself. Necessity might be the mother of invention, but it's never the wrong time to dream up something new. 

11. “Assume the worst. About everybody. But don’t let this poisoned outlook affect your job performance. Let it all roll off your back. Ignore it. Be amused by what you see and suspect. Just because someone you work with is a miserable, treacherous, self-serving, capricious, and corrupt asshole shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying their company, working with them, or finding them entertaining.”

Because we all have that one person who gets to us, but we shouldn’t let them compromise our efforts.

12. “Context and memory play powerful roles in all the truly great meals in one’s life.”

cake, weaving pie crust, pie, pie crust, cherry pie, making pie, Baking, lattice pie crust
Julia Gilman

Ever wonder why nothing can compare to your mom’s cooking or why you always get excited seeing your favorite childhood snack?

13. “Good food and good eating are about risk.”

vegetable, meat, tomato, pepper, beef, sauce, tuna tartare, parsley
Julia Murphy

You never know what you don’t like until you try it.

14. “Without new ideas, success can become stale.”

coffee, tea, milk, study, bagel, bread, laptop, cafe, breakfast
Denise Uy

Never settle for what you have already accomplished.

15. “An ounce of sauce covers a multitude of sins.”

tomato, cheese, bacon, sandwich, bread
Kat Huber

And if your bread ever becomes stale… some marinara sauce will most likely fix it.

16. “Luck is not a business model.”

Danielle Chen

In other words, work hard, play hard.

17. “You learn a lot about someone when you share a meal together.”

How about we skip the coffee dates and weather talk, and just get dinner?

18. “What nicer thing can you do for somebody than make them breakfast?"

brunch, Eggs Benedict, Korean fusion, millionaire's bacon, breakfast, egg
Luna Zhang

On the receiving end… There’s nothing nicer than waking up to the smell of bacon and eggs or freshly baked muffins.

19. “I don’t have to agree with you to like you or respect you.”

Well said, Anthony Bourdain.

20. “I don’t think people should be encouraged to look like Kate Moss; I think that’s unreasonable. I think the normal human body should be glorified. By the same token, if you need a stick to wash yourself, you’re not healthy.”

beer, water, tea, coffee
Michelle Zabat

There’s no need to go on juice cleanses (especially when they’re actually ) or fret about the numbers on the scale. Just be you and love the skin you’re in.

21. “I’m not afraid to look like an idiot.”

If you’re scared of looking stupid, where are you ever going to go? You have to take risks to succeed, and most times, that means going out of your comfort zone and trying something new and unknown.

Whether you love Bourdain or hate his guts, his lessons from endless traveling and passion for exploration are inspirational and worth digesting. Maybe that strange cuisine is worth a try after all.