Was an outspoken critic of Trump’s immigration policies and a fierce defender of workers.
New York, US | June 9
Anthony Bourdain’s culinary passions went far beyond the cuisine he put on a plate. He also was committed to the immigrant workers who toil in his and other kitchens throughout the restaurant industry.
Bourdain, who died Friday in France in an apparent suicide at age 61, was an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump’s immigration policies and a fierce defender of Hispanic workers.
The chef, global traveler and author, whose popularity grew with his CNN series “Parts Unknown,” often was the first to tip his hat to his employees from Central America or Mexico. He promoted his Mexican-born sous chef, the late Carlos Llaguno Garcia, to run two of his New York restaurants and complained loudly about the United States’ “ridiculously hypocritical attitudes” toward immigration.
“Some, of course, like to claim that Mexicans are stealing American jobs,” Bourdain said in 2014. “But in two decades as a chef and employer, I never had one American kid walk in my door and apply for a dishwashing job, a porter’s position or even a job as prep cook.”
During the 2016 presidential campaign season, Bourdain slammed Trump’s promises to deport immigrants in the U.S. illegally and build a wall along the Mexican border.
“If Mr. Trump deports 11 million people or whatever he’s talking about right now, every restaurant in America would shut down,” Bourdain said in an interview with SiriusXM radio.
Trump has said the wall is needed to keep immigrants and drugs out of the U.S. and his policies are designed to keep the country safe.
Julian Medina, the owner of eight Mexican restaurants in New York, said he and Bourdain crossed paths a few times at industry events.
“The Latino community was very important to him because in the kitchens of New York there are many Latinos,” Medina said. “He supported that because he always worked beside a Latino and put Carlos in charge of his kitchen.”