5 Takeaways From The Anthony Bourdain Documentary 'Roadrunner'
Read on to learn what the Roadrunner trailer reveals about the chef-turned-icon
The tragic passing of Anthony Bourdain in 2018 made shockwaves around the world. Leaving an indelible legacy, the charismatic, down-to-earth chef celebrated food, people, and culture with utmost respect and appreciation, demonstrating how meaningful travel can be. On trips to Hong Kong for his travel and food series No Reservations and Parts Unknown, Bourdain shared his love of Cantonese food with his international audience, saying “In Hong Kong you don’t take the tour bus to find good food. You don’t need to know where you’re going—you just press start.”
Premiering 16 July 2021, Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain, is an “unflinching look at Bourdain [that] reverberates with his presence”, offering a “behind-the-scenes look at how an anonymous chef became a world-renowned cultural icon”.
Here are some takeaways from the recently dropped trailer:
He was a rockstar in the kitchen
Met with a chorus of laughter from the audience, Bourdain jokes, “all the TV chefs are so cuddly and adorable, you know, maybe I’m the antidote or something”. The trailer also shows a lighthearted clip of ‘the bad-boy chef’ signing “COOKS RULE!!” on a copy of Kitchen Confidential, his bestselling book.
Read more: Vicky Cheng On The Joys Of Local Seafood
He was about much more than food
While Kitchen Confidential first put Bourdain on the map, his latter works explored themes far beyond culinary matters. “It was almost never about food,” David Chang of Momofuku shares. “It was about Tony learning how to be a better person”. In fact, a friend in the trailer mentioned that "he was a traditional romantic", underscoring that Bourdain was a person who wanted to make the most of every moment.
He experienced a whirlwind of success
After an outpouring of news channel voiceovers covering his hit book, the trailer includes an audio clip of Bourdain awestruck at his own success, saying “One minute I was standing next to a deep fryer, the next, I was watching the sunset over the Sahara—what am I doing here?”.
He chased adventure
With clips of Bourdain just about everywhere, the trailer affirms the chef's vagabond lifestyle. Tom Vitale, director and producer of Parts Unknown, recounts his time with Bourdain, relating “he was always rushing to get into the scene, he was rushing to get out of the scene, to go somewhere next even if he had nowhere to go”. Clearly, he was a curious soul, always eager to tell stories and experience all that life had to offer. "Life is about finding a cliff worth jumping off," Bourdain says in the Roadrunner trailer.
He was adored by many
As a famed celebrity chef, it’s no surprise that Bourdain forged meaningful bonds with the likes of David Chang and Éric Ripert—both of whom appear in the documentary. However, the Roadrunner trailer also features figures outside the food world, including artist David Choe, Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme, and The Kills vocalist Alison Mosshart, plus the relationships he had with his many fans, exemplifying his wide-ranging influence.
Rewatch the complete trailer here: