Philly food scene reacts to Anthony Bourdain's death

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Philly food scene reacts to Anthony Bourdain's death. Gray Hall reports during Action News at 4pm on June 8, 2018. (WPVI)

The culinary world was rocked by the news of Anthony Bourdain's death on Friday.

He was found dead in France from an apparent suicide. Bourdain was 61 years old.
If you or someone you know might be at risk of suicide, call 1-800-273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Find additional resources here


A number of establishments in the Philadelphia area were also impacted by the news, including Donkey's Place in Camden.

"We make cheesesteaks on a round poppy seed kaiser. We have been doing it the same way for 75 years," said Robert Lucas.

Donkey's Place was just one of the stops Anthony Bourdain made on his visit to the area several years ago.

"I drove a long way for this," Bourdain can be heard to say in a recording from his show. "Thinking about it the whole way. This should be a national landmark right away, this sandwich is unbelievably good."

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Anthony Bourdain dies at 61 in apparent suicide, CNN says. Watch this report from Action News at Noon on June 8, 2018.



Robert Lucas now owns the restaurant. He took over after his dad passed away about three years ago.

"Anthony Bourdain said we were the best Cheesesteaks in Philly but we are not in Philly!" Lucas said.

He says Bourdain's visit made a lasting impact on his dad and their business.
Since the restaurant was highlighted on Bourdain's show, Lucas says business has been booming.

"We got people from South Africa, Australia, Japan, Thailand, saying Anthony sent them," Lucas said.

Philadelphia chef Peter McAndrews got the rare opportunity to give Bourdain a tour of the city and some of its best places to eat and drink when he filmed in the area.

He said Bourdain's impact was enormous.

"People are really into food now, and he is a big part of the reason why that is. People embrace him because he was who he was," McAndrews said.

Chef McAndrews says being featured or mentioned on Bourdain's show was like restaurant gold.

"We got a nice bump out of it and every time it re-airs we still get a nice bump out of it," he said. "I want to say he is like The Godfather of food journalism in this country. He was cool. He was the man."

Those who met Bourdain describe him as a down to earth, genuine person. They say his impact is lasting and his legacy in the food world will be remembered for generations to come.

"We had a moment of silence and the whole bar did a shot for Anthony," said Lucas.

"We are lucky to have had him. God bless Mr. Bourdain and Chef Bourdain. He'll be missed," said McAndrews.

If you or someone you know might be at risk of suicide, call 1-800-273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Find additional resources here

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