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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Remembering Anthony Bourdain. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired June 17, 2018 - 20:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[20:00:07] ANNOUNCER: The following is a CNN Special Report.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think everybody who listens to the open of "PARTS UNKNOWN" is suddenly like a Pavlovian syndrome really electrified and prepared through that sounds, through that music for something really different on television.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR, CUOMO PRIMETIME: Tony was an original. That's very rare in this business. And not only did he have such a cool existence but he had his own theme which is a huge thing. And it was just such an affirmation of what he was all about. The organic nature, the originality, cutting his own path.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR, NEW DAY: I was in my office, it was about 4.45 a.m. I was getting ready for "NEW DAY' which goes on the air at 6:00. I had my back to the door and I heard my door shut. I turned around and my boss, Jeff Zucker, was standing there, looking ashen, and he says, I have to tell you something. No one else knows but we're going to have to report this. Anthony Bourdain is dead. I was shocked. I think I actually screamed, oh, no.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BERMAN: We have some terribly sad news to report this morning, heartbreaking and devastating. World renowned chef, best-selling author, award-winning host of "PARTS UNKNOWN" and our friend, Anthony Bourdain has died.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Anthony was found dead this morning in his hotel room in France. He had hung himself in his hotel room.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR, NEW DAY: The idea that he was suffering somehow is really heartbreaking.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR, "ANDERSON COOPER 360": Honestly, it hurts to even talk about him in the past tense at this point. It's a -- it's really -- yes, it's really hard to -- hard to imagine. I mean, you never know what goes on in anybody's head and you never really know what goes on anyone's heart.

But certainly, you know, the pain he must have been feeling, at least in that moment or in those moments, and the loneliness he must have been feeling. It's just terribly sad to think about. And makes me very sad for him to have -- to have succumbed to that. AMANPOUR: Somebody as vital, as passionate, as alive, as warm as

human as Tony Bourdain, I could not imagine, A, that he was gone, and B, that he was gone in this manner.

COOPER: I lost a brother to suicide so I know the shock that people feel. I mean, the shock that loved ones feel. And it's something that I have thought about for 30 years and I don't have any answers about why somebody does it.

STELTER: Anthony's life changed in 1999. That's when he wrote his famous article for the "New Yorker." "Don't Eat Before Reading This." He was letting us all inside the kitchen, revealing the secrets of the chef world, of the restaurant world. And it quickly became a book, "Kitchen Confidential." And that's what led him to the Food Network, to the Travel Channel, and to CNN.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANTHONY BOURDAIN, FORMER CNN HOST, PARTS UNKNOWN: This is a world of fresh, delicious, spicy, meaty, salty, sour, sweet dinner.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STELTER: "PARTS UNKNOWN" started on CNN in 2013 and it was like a bolt of lightning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: The most vital thing giver of life, sticky rice.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR: When he brought "PARTS UNKNOWN" to CNN and I interviewed him about what his mission was. He basically says, I want to go to familiar and less familiar places to tell the American people about all these places but through the medium that they'll be able to relate to. So food. Everybody can relate to food, right? So he was also telling about culture and politics, and history, and the geography, but through food.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: Welcome to Shanghai province. Top up near the borders of Burma, China, Laos, and India not too far away. All of them have left their mark on the food.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: For me, the word that best describes Tony is passion. He just felt so much passion for what he did and what he saw. And I don't think he ever had no opinion on something. It wasn't like, whatever.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cheers. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, gentlemen, cheers to the Queen.

BOURDAIN: No, I hate the aristocracy, man.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[20:05:03] COOPER: He was exactly as you see on television. You know, he was funny, he was sarcastic, he had a dark sense of humor. If I went out to meals with him he enjoyed getting me to eat bizarre foods that I would never in a million years eat. Beside I have a palette of a 5-year-old.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: This is tripe.

COOPER: No. What is tripe? A tripe is -- that's one of those words that I know means something else that is something that I want to eat.

BOURDAIN: It means good. It means good.

COOPER: Is it like brains or like the penis of a shark or a --

BOURDAIN: No. No, no. Not that good. No. It's the stomach lining of the cow.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: He loved cinema, he loved the music, and all of that was incorporated in these travel journeys that he would produce.

CUOMO: One day, Tony and I were sitting off stage waiting for a segment to happen. And he looked at me and he said so, what are you about? What is your passion? I said, fighting. I love to fight. And his eyes -- I remember he had these hooded eyes. They went like this, and he had recently found BJJ, a Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. And he loved it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: Every morning, every morning at 7:00 a.m. I'm here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: He said you know what I love about it, the struggle. I love the struggle. I love trying to figure out how to get out of this and what to do next. And that struggle, no matter how much you think that's it, I'm going to have to tap out, I find a way out of it. I love it.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR, AT THIS HOUR: Whenever we've taped I would always like yell back at him, in my next life I'm coming back as Anthony Bourdain. And he'd turn and look at me and be like, OK, good. I always going to be like, good luck with that one. But I think that's why -- that is not unique to me, right, everybody wanted to be a little bit of Anthony Bourdain. You know, over liquored, overfed, traveling the world, having fun, connecting with people and getting paid to do it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[20:10:48] BOURDAIN: Oh, enchanted land of my childhood. A cultural Petri dish from which regularly issues forth greatness. New Jersey, in case you didn't know it, has got beaches, beautiful beaches. And they're not all crawling with void raging trolls with reality shows. I grew up summering on these beaches and they are awesome.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAMEROTA: You know, I'm a Jersey girl and so I watched that with wrapped attention of what he was going to bring to life in New Jersey from his hometown.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR, ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT: You know, he just was a regular person. You know, his regular jeans and his regular shirt. He had no pretension, he had no interest in pretension. And it was one of the most compelling and endearing things about him.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR, THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER: It was interesting because he was such a dichotomy. He was -- you know, this swash buckling, larger-than-life character who was very good looking and, you know, women loved and men wanted to be, and -- and yet he was always kind of -- to me, it always seemed like -- even though he was very confident or seemed very confident, he was always I think -- he was always kind of just winking at it all. That there was -- he was kind of all in on the joke, that it didn't really mean anything, that we're all humble, we're all fragile.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: There's nothing like the North Atlantic. It's majestic. Yes, I love the beach. Pretty much had my first everything on the beach. You name it, first time I did it, beach. I was miserable in love, happy in love alternately as only a 17-year-old could be. This is where I lived, very happy summer in the early '70s.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: He drops out of Vassar, he goes to the culinary institute. He had such vivid stories about working in these kitchens in Provincetown.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: It was here all the way out at the tip Cape Cod, Provincetown, Massachusetts where the pilgrims first landed. And it was where I first landed, 1972 washed into town with a head full of orange sunshine and a few friends. Provincetown, a wonderland of tolerance, long time tradition of accepting artists, writer, the badly behaved, the gay, the different. It was paradise.

(END VIDEO CLIP) WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR, THE SITUATION ROOM: He was willing to show us all sides of his amazing life, the good, the bad and the ugly. We learn from him in the process.

AMANPOUR: Tony came raw to the picture. He came with his history of his own demons. He didn't hide that he had these terrible problems with alcohol, with heroin, and yet that's what made him so relatable.

BERMAN: Tony always owned his struggles and one of them was drugs and heroin which was something that largely it was a 1980s thing for him and he worked through.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: I know what the life of somebody who wakes up in the morning and their first order of business is get heroin. Having been through it myself, you know, going to a meeting of addicts, you know, I -- they had something to say to me and I had something to say to them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: There was a vulnerability to him. I mean, as cool as he was, there was a vulnerability to him that he would -- he would expose.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: I'll tell you something really shameful of myself. The first time I shout out I looked at myself in the mirror with a big grin. You know, something was missing in me, whether it was a self- image situation, whether it was a character flaw.

You know, that stable family in the suburbs, you know, I had a lot of advantages. There was some dark Genie inside me that I really much hesitate to call a disease that led me to dope, you know, I didn't have anyone else who could have talked me out of what I was doing. But intervention wouldn't have worked. I didn't have a child. I have a 7-year-old daughter now who I never would have had, I never would have thought.

I looked in the mirror and I saw somebody worth saving, or that I wanted to at least try real hard and save.

[20:15:04] You know, anybody could find themselves very easily in this situation. And, you know I look back on that and I think about -- you know, I think about what I'll tell my daughter. You know, that was daddy. No doubt about it that I hope I'll be able to say that was daddy then and this is daddy now, that I'm alive, and living and healthy. Thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR: He brought to CNN something that very few others had brought and that was a sense of knowing who he was, of not being afraid of saying who he was., of not being afraid to relate his foibles, his weaknesses, as well as his strengths and his unique ability to tell stories. He brought all that to people.

STELTER: He was really exploring the human condition. He was really talking about what it means to be human and what we all share all around the world.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: My drug addiction I hope, it's not the most interesting part of my life. In fact, I don't find it particularly interesting at all. But there it is. It is part of my life, it changed me and it allowed me to I think better understand some things about life, about myself and what I'm capable of doing, and it's given me a certain, on one end, empathy for some people, and a complete lack of empathy for others. That's something I felt I should talk about.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAMEROTA: And to know that he had overcome those things I think is inspirational. I think it gives everybody hope, you know, to know that they can overcome something really hard. And that is why the pain of this I think is doubly compounded because he had overcome, it seemed, some demons in the past. And I guess that doesn't make you bullet proof.

AMANPOUR: He was so real and so authentic, and in the end, maybe he was too real for his own self. The real thing to know about Tony Bourdain was that he was a deeply, deeply human being. He was a giant talent, he was a unique voice but he was deeply human.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:21:15] STELTER: Bourdain was a defining hire for CNN. It was announced back in 2012. It was a strange mood. People were wondering, why is CNN hiring this chef and author? But it was because CNN exactly has decided to broaden out beyond just breaking news and headlines, and start to bring in cultural programming and new ways to tell stories.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: When people came to sit down to watch "PARTS UNKNOWN" they knew they were going to get something different even it was about a place they knew, even if it wasn't a part unknown to them.

LEMON: His stories weren't about food. Food was a conduit. It was a thing that drew you in. And once you were drawn in it was about the experience, it was about the connection, it was about his interaction -- his interactions with people.

[20:24:58] TAPPER: It was the Obama White House who reached out to CNN, and I put them in touch with Bourdain. They wanted -- I mean, that's who Anthony Bourdain was, Obama wanted to go have food with him, not really the other way around.

BURNETT: Anthony's point of view is basically, you know, I don't want some fancy state dinner, I don't want -- you know, it's got to be the scooter and the whole thing. And he got it his way.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Good to see you.

BOURDAIN: Good to see you. Mr. President, how you like in Vietnam?

OBAMA: I love it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: And Anthony sat for him, while the secret service were, you know, apparently very cool, they were freaking out because they couldn't taste test the food they couldn't do anything, but Obama had no problem coming in and eating the local food and having a beer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: I love when you get to sneak out for a beer.

OBAMA: Very rarely. First of all, I don't get to sneak out, period, but once in a while, I'll take Michelle out on a date night. The problem is, part of enjoying a restaurant is sitting with other patrons and enjoying the atmosphere, and too often we end up getting shut into one of those private rooms.

BOURDAIN: Well, I'm glad I could help and--

(CROSSTALK)

OBAMA: Absolutely.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Tony asked the president, do you ever just get to sort of do this? To sit down and chill and have a beer? Which was a great question to ask.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: We want to point player, we seemed to be turning endless. I mean, we're actually talking about building a wall around our country, and yet you have been reaching out to people who don't necessarily agree with this.

Gaza, Iran, Cuba, I mean, I just wish that more Americans had passports. You can see how other people live, seems useful at worse and incredibly pleasurable and interesting at best.

OBAMA: It confirms the basic truth that people everywhere are pretty much the same, the same hopes and dreams. When you come to people like Vietnam and you see former American-Vietnam vets coming back.

When you see somebody like a John Kerry or John McCain, two very different people politically and temperamentally but -- who were able to bond in their experience of meeting with their former adversaries and you don't make peace with your friends, you make peace with your enemies.

BOURDAIN: As the father of a young girl, is it all going to be OK, is it all going to wake up, my daughter will be able to come here in five years, 10 years should be able to have a bowl of bun cha and the world would be a better place?

OBAMA: Yes. I mean, I think progress is not a straight line. You know, there are going to be moments at any given part of the world where things are terrible. But, having said all that, I think they are going to work out.

BOURDAIN: Thank you so much. Cheers.

OBAMA: Cheers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: There isn't a lot of chefs who get to sit down and interview the President of the United States. But the reason I think that President Obama wanted to sit down with Tony in Vietnam had nothing to do with the food, it was the talk, again, about life.

COOPER: Anthony interviewed a guy Boris Nemtsov in an episode he did in Russia and who was a critic of the regime.

TAPPER: He was really good at picking people who were in the crosshairs of bad guys.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: So, we were supposed to be dining at another restaurant this evening, and when they heard you would be joining me, we were uninvited. Should I be concerned about having dinner with you?

BORIS NEMTSOV, FORMER RUSSIAN DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER: This is a country of corruption. And if you have business you are in a very unsafe situation. Everybody can press you and destroy your business. That's it. This is a system.

BOURDAIN: Meet Boris Nemtsov, he was a deputy prime minister under Yeltsin, and today he's one of Putin's most vocal critics.

This restaurant was kind enough to take us in. But the chef is a Britt so maybe he has less reason to worry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: First course, gentlemen.

BOURDAIN: Critics of the government, critics of Putin, bad things seem to happen to them. Litvinenko case, a known enemy of Putin, speaking with the radioactive polonium, are you concerned?

NEMTSOV: Me, about myself?

BOURDAIN: Yes. You were a pain in the ass.

NEMTSOV: Tony, I was born here 54 years ago, this is my country. Russian people are in a bit of trouble, Russian (Inaudible), the Russian education decline every year, I believe that Russia has a chance to be free. There is a chance. It's difficult but we must do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: And Nemtsov ended up getting assassinated shortly -- shortly after. So, you know, he, Anthony was not shying away in any way from serious political issues in the place. I mean, he embraced all those things.

[20:30:00] TAPPER: The idea that Bourdain would have met with Boris Nemtsov in Russia before Nemtsov was killed, that's what Bourdain was doing, he was looking to tell stories of humanity and oppression.

BALDWIN: I remember asking Tony Bourdain what would be the bucket list locations to a guy who's been around the world five times, and he said Iran. And then Low and behold several seasons later, there he was.

BLITZER: He was interviewing the Washington Post reporter at the time, Jason Rezaian and his wife.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: The official attitude towards fun in general seems to be ever shifting, is it even a good idea?

JASON REZAIAN, TEHRAN BUREAU CHIEF, THE WASHINGTON POST: There's a lot of security, lots of rules, there are a lot of people in place to make sure you do the right thing, and not do the wrong thing. But a lot of push and pull, lot of give and take.

BOURDAIN: Do you like it -- are you happy here?

REZAIAN: Look, I'm in a point now after five years where I miss certain things about home. I miss my buddies, I miss burritos, I miss having certain beverages with my buddies and burritos at certain type of establishments. But I love it. I love it, and I hate it, you know? It's home. It's become home.

BOURDAIN: Are you optimistic about the future?

YEGANEH SALEHI, JASON REZAIAN'S WIFE: Yes, especially if there's no clear, then it finally happens, yes. Very much actually.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Shortly after, Jason was arrested by the regime and held. And I remember interviewing Anthony actually about Jason. And, you know, Anthony was trying to speak out forcefully on Jason's behalf.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: These are two lovely blameless people who are not deserving of this -- of this faith. (END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: It was interesting to see Anthony often winding up kind of in the epicenter of, you know, serious political situations.

BLITZER: And I also loved the episode where he went to Jerusalem, went to Israel, met with Palestinians, met with the Israelis, and brought us a unique point of that -- that situation. That was very powerful.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Any story that we sit on television, and argue about, and have these heated discussions about, all you have to do is interject some food and wine, or whatever into it, and a table it, and it becomes much more civilized.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAL BARANES, OWNER, MAJDA RESTAURANT: Fried zucchini with mint.

YOTAM OTTOLENGHI, CHEF/AUTHOR: And the apricots. The little sweet apricots we had.

BOURDAIN: It's really intensely delicious. Are you hopeful?

BARANES: Of course. I have my children. I need to see them.

BARHUM: I respect her religion. She respects my religion and my family. And together we can build something for our kids, our future country. That's what we think, and that's what we give the message for our customers.

OTTOLENGHI: Part of the attraction of this restaurant, the fact that it actually manages to do what not so many chefs try to do here, and that is sort of mix your Jewish ethnicity, or background with Arab food.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: What he did, even better than people who went to school for journalism, was that he educated you, and he took you on a journey with him, and we all went along for the ride.

[20:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: What do I do? Every show, I'm not going to say it's a formula, but the basic structure is guy go someplace, eat a bunch of food, and comes back, OK? That's what I do every time. This is not a food show, but there's food. This is not a travel show, but there's travel. I don't know what it is.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIAN STELTER, CNN HOST, RELIABLE SOURCES: Anthony used food, it was a -- it was a way to start a conversation. But his show, his life, he was really exploring the human condition.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: It's a food show, right? Well, not really. Assume it was like a concept in a lot of ways. If you look at the mix of people, ethnicities, and religions, all will be relatively at close quarters here, it's a rather extraordinary success story.

Let me try some of the octopus. The octopus is chewy, but tasty. It's too spicy for you man. Yes, believe me. Only one of us are going to be shitting like a maniac tonight. It's not going to be you.

[20:40:09] It's just -- I mean, this is as sophisticated and complex a bowl of food as any French restaurant. I mean it really is the -- just the top of the mountain. I'm getting down to, like, the pepper residue at the bottom.

Nice burning feeling aver my lips, flop sweat. Happy. So, we can pretty much cancel the rest of the show. I've achieved the -- my happy zone. It's really all downhill from here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Any story that we sit on television, and argue about, and have these heated discussions about, all you have to do is interject some food, and wine, or whatever into it, and a table, and it becomes much more civilized.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: Korea, land of enchantment, land of contrast, land of drinking a lot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you're really Korean, you can drink well, and recover.

BOURDAIN: Well, we're going to find out, aren't we?

(LAUGHTER)

BOURDAIN: I do not love myself this morning. Dried squid, M&Ms, and mixing your alcohols?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

BOURDAIN: Problem for me is I'm generally older than everybody in this country. My glass is always full. You agree this is pretty awesome!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: If you went outside meals with him, or if I went out to meals with him he enjoyed getting me to eat bizarre foods I would never in 1 million years eat, because I have the palette of a 5-year-old.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BOURDAIN: Tripe.

COOPER: What is tripe? A tripe is that one of those words that I know means something else that happen, that I don't want to eat.

BOURDAIN: It means good. It means good.

COOPER: Is it something like the brains or like the penis of a shark, or...

BOURDAIN: No. No. No. Not that good. It's the stomach lining of the cow.

COOPER: Of the cow?

BOURDAIN: Yes.

COOPER: You know, there's plenty of stuff on a cow to eat, why do you need to eat the stomach lining?

BOURDAIN: Because you got to work for the good stuff.

(LAUGHTER)

BOURDAIN: When you cook it, it smells like wet dog. Do you ever...

COOPER: I love the smell of my wet dog.

BOURDAIN: You ever stood in an elevator with a golden retriever? It has got that same kind of funk.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: He once came and cook at my home, it's the only time my kitchen was actually been used. We ended up -- or I should say we, he ended up cooking. I think it was some cuisine from South Korea in particular.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: So, we've got pork, you've got hot dogs, and now you are adding spam.

BOURDAIN: Oh, wait.

COOPER: Oh.

BOURDAIN: Kimchi. Oh yeah.

COOPER: I can honestly say this is the last thing in the world I want to eat.

BOURDAIN: You say that now. But just wait.

COOPER: All right.

BOURDAIN: Behold.

COOPER: So this looks great. I have got to say. It is very good.

BOURDAIN: See, I've done good -- I've done good in this world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: I know people loved him because of the food and drink, but like, there are also a lot of us who are like, that was almost beside the point. It really was just about him, and his way of looking at the world.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: I come out of 30 years of preparing food for other people in a restaurant situation. Most of those places had tablecloths. And I enjoy from time to time, of course, very much eating in fancy restaurants. That said, I'm happier experiencing food in a purely emotional way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: I loved, you know, watching him go into, you know, a restaurant or a home, and just sort of becoming accepted in the process.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: We're here for a supra at the home of Ushangi and Makvala Kokashvili. A supra is like a feast, super traditional. A pig is dispatched and broken into constituent parts. The neighbors pitch in, helping to make three different varieties of a traditional cheese- filled bread, known as khachapuri.

While I'm always interested in what's cooking, I'm much more interested these days in whose cooking, why they're cooking, what they're cooking, and what they have to say.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: One of the scenes that I remember was in Sicily when they were going to be making some kind of octopus. And basically, these fishermen said, OK, we're going to take you out, and you're going to go out, and get to catch your own.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

BOURDAIN: But I am famous for my optimism. Suddenly, there's a dead sea creature sinking slowly to the seabed in front of me. Are they kidding me? I'm thinking can this be happening?

But it goes on, one dead cuttlefish, deceased octopus, frozen sea urchin after another, drops among the rocks, or along the sea floor to be heroically discovered by Turin moments later. [20:45:04] And proudly shown off to camera, like I'm not actually watching as this confederate in the next boat over hurls them into the water one after another. And the minute I -- you know, that octopus -- that dead octopus started hitting the water around me, my sense of rage.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: It showed how passionate he was. He wasn't -- he wasn't always about being affable and genial. He know that he truly had this passion, and this care, and in that particular moment it was very clear to me.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: And just when my brain threatens to short circuit with pleasure, descending as if from heaven, itself -- cheese. Oh, god, the cheese.

I've got to tell you, I don't care how many naked breasts are on that beach right now, because that is much more exciting. All right. Look at it. It's beautiful.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: He was a great chef, but then he had this unique ability to obviously eat very, you know, obscure remote, different kinds of food, but he also liked all the foods that all of us loved. He could have a hotdog, and speak about that for half an hour.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: As I've gotten older I'm moving more and more away from fine dining, let's put it that way, and towards those foods, and those meals that make me happy. Food that I can eat with my hands, pleasant food, home cooking, you know, very small, casual businesses.

I'm saying I'm suffering from fine dining exhaustion. There are also going to be aspects of that world -- you know, the world I came out of, but I like to experience food emotionally whenever possible. And as I've gotten older, you know, it's going to be pork shank, or a bowl of noodles that makes me happy as oppose to large tongues and aspect.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: He made a point to me, food doesn't have to be expensive to be good. Sometimes the best tasting foods are these joints that are often we have.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: I was like food is really important. It's worth fighting about, it's worth arguing about, it's worth talking about all day, but it's only part of a larger spectrum of human experience without good conversation, without ambiance, without love, without company. It's worthless basically. (END VIDEO CLIP)

STELTER: Bourdain was a defining hire for CNN, it was announced back in 2012. It was a strange move. People were wondering why is CNN hiring this chef and author. But it was because CNN executives decided to broaden out beyond just breaking news and headlines, and start to bring in documentaries, start to bring in cultural programming, and new ways to tell stories.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: I would describe myself as a lucky cook who gets to tell stories. And I'm certainly not a journalist, I'm not a chef anymore. I'd like to flatter myself by saying I'm an essayist, but I'm a storyteller.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STELTER: This was a risk for CNN, and it was a risk for Anthony.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: Myanmar, after 50 years of nightmare, something unexpected is happening here, and it's pretty incredible. Not too long ago, even filming here officially as an open professional western film crew would have been unthinkable.

In 2007, a Japanese journalist was shot point blank and killed filming a street demonstration.

COOPER: I haven't been there to official Myanmar. What's it like?

BOURDAIN: I've been to a lot of places 20 years after the Soviets left 30 years, and people still shy away from the cameras. They still don't want to talk to you. If they see a camera, it means that it's a bad thing. They are -- they close up at the approach of an outsider here.

Myanmar, a place just about a year ago you're tossed in jail for consorting with foreigners. Everybody was incredibly open. What I'm amaze is how friendly and open people are on this. It's very easy for me to sit here and say whatever I want about the government, right, we can go home. You know, our lives would go on.

We don't pay the price for that show. Everybody who helped us could very well pay that price. It should be pointed out that a lot of people did not. A lot of people were very nice to us but said, look, I just -- I've already been in jail, you know. I really don't want to go back. It's a very real concern what happens to the people we leave behind.

But for the moment at least things seem to be moving in the right direction.

(END VIDEO CLIP) AMANPOUR: He'd been to Myanmar, which at the time was a full-blown military dictatorship. And he went there and he said to me, here's what I can do with this program. When something big happens in Libya or Myanmar, or in Afghanistan, or Iraq, or wherever it might be, American viewers and viewers around the world will also be able to know about the people there, not just about the dictators, not just about the politics. But they will be able to get to know the people.

And I really think that's important because I know think too often Americans have just a one-dimensional view of a foreign country. And it's only told to tell through the prism of breaking news.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR, TONIGHT WITH DON LEMON: I thought that he was a better journalist than many of us ever could be because it came to him naturally. It was just curiosity. And isn't that really what being a journalist is all about, being curious? And he brought something to CNN that had never been there before.

STELTER: It was really like a breath of fresh air and viewers loved it. The ratings on Sunday night doubled. There were new viewers coming to CNN for the first time including younger viewers who normally didn't want to watch the news. But they did want to watch this larger than life man, this handsome striking figure explore the world and take them with him.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

[20:25:21] BOURDAIN: Outside Tripoli's center, there's this. One time axis of all power and untold evil. This is what's left of Gadhafi's palace.

So when's the last time you were here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Last time is when the revolution is finishing.

BOURDAIN: What?

(Voice-over): While talking, we didn't notice several pickup trucks of local militia had closed in on us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stop. Stop.

BOURDAIN: I'll stop.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. You stop.

BOURDAIN: Just relax.

COOPER: He wasn't afraid of going to a place like Libya which was -- is a very complex, you know, all these different kind of political parties and competing groups. And he was always very good at sort of being aware of the complexity of a place, and not dumbing it down, or not even trying to give a dissertation on it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: Another morning in Tripoli and life goes on. Vendors are out, people go about their daily routines.

AKRAM, FORMER FREEDOM FIGHTER: This is our traditional breakfast.

BOURDAIN: What is this dish called?

AKRAM: Sfenj (INAUDIBLE), which is an overstretched doughnut, I suppose.

BOURDAIN: Right. With an egg.

AKRAM: With an egg on top. You can get them with cheese, you can get them with chili paste, you can have them with honey, with sugar.

BOURDAIN: What are you having? How do you like yours?

AKRAM: I like mine cooked, to be honest.

BOURDAIN: What's the name of this neighborhood?

AKRAM: This is (INAUDIBLE). This is a cradle of the revolution.

BOURDAIN: Right. This was the first neighborhood to rise up?

AKRAM: Yes. This is the first place to rise up.

BOURDAIN: Why do you think this neighborhood and not --

AKRAM: It's an impoverished neighborhood. It's been always liked here by the regime. They made them feel like they're not from this country, to be honest.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STELTER: Anthony Bourdain really changed what CNN is. He brought this other way to learn about the world, this other way of asking questions. Not through an interview, not through an interrogation but sitting down, and sharing a meal.

What he was doing was journalistic, but more importantly it was so human, bringing people on a journey with him while he met people in their place, with their food, with their meals, with their culture.

BLITZER: I think Tony was trying to make the world a little bit more hospitable, a little bit more understanding, a little bit more friendly. He was trying to show, yes, we speak different languages, we come from different cultures, we have different religions, but we're all people. And we have unique stories to tell, and he wanted to share those stories.

In the process, he would make the world a little bit smaller, a little bit more personal. And I'm sure his hope was maybe we can eliminate some of the abuses, the wars, the hatred. I think that was his goal.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BOURDAIN: What do I do? Every show -- I'm not going to say it's a formula but the basic structure is a guy goes some place, eat a bunch of food, and comes back. OK. That's what I do every time.

This is not a food show but there's food. This is not a travel show, though there is travel. I don't know what it is.

It's just -- I mean, this is as sophisticated and complex of a bowl of food as any French restaurant. That it really is the just the top of the mountain. I'm getting kind of like the pepper residue at the bottom. Nice burning feeling around my lips. Flap sweat. Happy. So we can pretty much cancel the rest of the show. I've achieved my happy zone. It's really all downhill from here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: He once came and cooked at my house. It's the only time my kitchen has actually been used. We ended up or I should say we -- he ended up cooking I think it was some cuisine from South Korea in particular.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: So we got pork, you got hotdogs and now you're adding spam.

BOURDAIN: Wait. Kimchi.

COOPER: Oh, wow.

BOURDAIN: Oh yes.

COOPER: I can honestly say this is the last thing in the world I want to eat.

BOURDAIN: Oh, you say that now, but just wait. All right. Behold.

COOPER: So this looks great. I got to say. It's very good.

BOURDAIN: I've done good in this world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: I know people loved him because of the food and drink. But there are also a lot of us who like -- that was almost beside the point. It really was just about him and his way of looking at the world.

BURNETT: I loved watching him go into, you know, a restaurant or a home. And just sort of becoming accepted in the process.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: We're here for a supra, it's the home of (INAUDIBLE). A supra is like a feast. Super traditional. A pig is dispatched and broken into constituent parts. The neighbors pitch in, helping to make three different varieties of a traditional cheese-filled bread known (INAUDIBLE).

While I'm always interested in what's cooking, I am much more interested these days in who's cooking, why they're cooking what they're cooking and what else they have to say.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[20:35:08] BURNETT: One of the things that I remember was in Sicily where they were going to be making some kind of octopus and basically these fishermen said, OK, we're going to take you out and you're going to go out and get to catch your own.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: Are these prime fishing waters? I don't know about this. But I am famous for my optimism. Suddenly, there is a dead sea creature sinking slowly to the sea bed in front of me. Are they kidding me? I'm thinking, can this be happening? But it goes on. One dead cuddle fish, deceased octopus, frozen sea urchin after another, drops them on the rocks or along the sea floor, to be heroically discovered by Turi moments later and proudly shown off to camera like I'm not actually watching as this confederate in the next boat over throws them into the water one after another.

In a minute I -- you know, that octopus, that dead octopus started hitting the water around me, my senses of rage and self-disgust and just -- I'm not going to say I had a mental or nervous breakdown, but I came close.

And just when my brain threatens to short circuit with pleasure, descending as if from heaven itself. Cheese. Oh, god. The cheese.

Did I ever to tell you? I don't care how many naked breasts are on that beach right now because that is much more exciting.

All right. Look at this. It's beautiful.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: He was a great chef, but that he had this unique ability to obviously eat very, you know, obscure, remote, different kinds of foods, but he also liked all the foods that all of us loved and he could have a hotdog and speak about that for half an hour.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: As I've gotten older, I'm moving more and more away from fine dining. Let's put it that way. And I'm towards those foods and those meals that make me happy. Food I can eat with my hands, peasant food, home cooking.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: He made the point to me, you know, it's not -- food doesn't need to be expensive to be good. Sometimes the best tasting food are these joints that are often too fat. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: Food is really important. It's worth fighting about. It's worth arguing about. It's worth talking about all day long. But it's only part of a larger spectrum of the human experience without good conversation, without ambiance, without love, without company, it's worthless basically.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:41:41] AMANPOUR: When people came to sit down to watch "PARTS UNKNOWN" they knew they were going to get something different even if it was about a place they knew, even if it wasn't a part unknown to them.

TAPPER: It was the Obama White House who reached out to CNN, and I put them in touch with Bourdain. They -- I mean, that's who Anthony Bourdain was. Obama wanted to go have food with him and not really the other way around.

BURNETT: And Anthony set for him while the Secret Service were, you know, apparently very cool, they were freaking out because they couldn't taste test the food. They couldn't do anything, but Obama had no problem coming in and eating the local food and having a beer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: How often do you get to sneak out for a beer?

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: Very rarely. First of all I don't get to sneak out, period.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Tony asked the president, do you ever just get to sort of do this, to sit down chill and have a beer? Which is a great question to ask.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: I mean, I just wish that more Americans had passports. The sentiment what you can see how other people live seems useful at worst and incredibly pleasurable and interesting at best.

OBAMA: It confirms the basic truth that people everywhere are very much the same. The same hopes and dreams. And when you come to a place like Vietnam and you see former American Vietnam vets coming back, when you see somebody like a John Kerry or a John McCain, two very different people politically and temperamentally but who were able to bond in their experience of meeting with their former adversaries, and you don't make peace with your friends. You make peace with your enemies.

BOURDAIN: As a father of a young girl, is it all going to be OK? It's all going to work out. My daughter will be able to come here in five years, 10 years, and she'll be able to have a bowl of banchai and the world will be a better place?

OBAMA: Yes. I mean, I think progress is not a straight line. You know, there are going to be moments in any given part of the world where things are terrible. But having said all that, I think things are going to work out.

BOURDAIN: Thank you so much. Cheers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: There aren't a lot of chefs who get to sit down and interview the president of the United States, but the reason that I think that President Obama wanted to sit down with Tony in Vietnam had nothing to do with the food. It was to talk about, again, life.

COOPER: Anthony interviewed a guy named Boris Nemtsov in an episode he did in Russia and who is a critic of the regime.

TAPPER: He was really good at picking people who were the crosshairs of bad guys.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: Critics of the government, critics of Putin, bad things seem to happen to them. Litvinenko case, a known enemy of Putin, stricken with a bout of radioactive polonium. Are you concerned?

BORIS NEMTSOV, FORMER RUSSIAN DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER: Me, about myself?

BOURDAIN: Yes. You're a pain in the ass.

NEMTSOV: Tony, I was born here 54 years ago, this is my country. Russian people are in a bit of trouble, Russian cord doesn't work, Russian education decline every year, and I believe that Russia has a chance to be free. There is a chance. It's difficult but we must do it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[20:45:07] COOPER: And Nemtsov ended up getting assassinated shortly after. So, you know, he -- Anthony was not shying away in any way from serious political issues in a place. I mean, he embraced all those things.

TAPPER: The idea that Bourdain would have met with Boris Nemtsov in Russia before Nemtsov was killed, that's what Bourdain was doing, he was looking to tell stories of humanity and oppression.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: I remember asking Tony Bourdain what would be the bucket list locations to a guy who has been around the world five times, and he said Iran. And then lo and behold, several seasons later, there he was.

BLITZER: He was interviewing a "Washington Post" reporter at the time, Jason Rezaian, and his wife.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: Do you like it -- are you happy here?

JASON REZAIAN, TEHRAN BUREAU CHIEF, THE WASHINGTON POST: Look, I'm in a point now after five years where I miss certain things about home. I miss my buddies, I miss burritos, I miss having certain beverages with my buddies and burritos at certain types of establishments. But I love it. I love it, and I hate it, you know? But it's home. It's become home. BOURDAIN: Are you optimistic about the future?

YEGANEH SALEHI, JASON REZAIAN'S WIFE: Yes, especially if there's no clear, then it finally happens, yes. Very much actually.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Shortly after Jason was arrested by the regime and held, and I remember interviewing Anthony actually about Jason, and you know, Anthony was trying to speak out very forcefully on Jason's behalf.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: These are two lovely, blameless people who are not deserving of this -- of this fate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: It was interesting to see Anthony often winding up kind of in the epicenter of, you know, very serious political situations.

BLITZER: And I also loved the episode where he went to Jerusalem, went to Israel, met with Palestinians, met with the Israelis, and brought us a unique point of that -- that situation. That was very powerful.

LEMON: Any story that we sit on television and argue about and have these heated discussions about, all you have to do is interject some food and wine or whatever into it in a table and it becomes much more civilized.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAL BARANES, OWNER, MAJDA RESTAURANT: Fresh zucchini with mint.

YOTAM OTTOLENGHI, CHEF/AUTHOR: And the apricots, the little sweet apricots we had.

BOURDAIN: Really intensely delicious. Are you hopeful?

BARANES: Of course, I have my children. I need to see them.

YAKUB BARHUM, OWNER, MAJDA RESTAURANT: I respect her religion. She respects my religion and my family. And together we can build something for our kids, our future country. That's what we think, and that's what we give the message for our customers.

OTTOLENGHI: Part of the attraction of this restaurant, the fact that it actually manages to do what not so many chefs try to do here, and that is sort of mix your Jewish ethnicity, or background with Arab food.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: What he did better than people who went to school for journalism was he educated you, he took you on a journey with him, and we all went along for the ride.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[20:52:20] BOURDAIN: A few years back I got the words "I am certain of nothing" tattooed on my arm. It's what makes travel what it is. An endless learning curve, the joy of being wrong, of being confused.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: One of his friends described him to me as a freak of nature, a force of nature, unexplainable, and the world is lucky to have had him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: I'm revisiting some stuff. Just some -- I was in a weird place in my head when I first came here. I was personally, professionally, everything in my life was changing. I was in this sort of nowhere land between previous life and whatever came next. I'm retracing my steps in a lot of ways to see if it still hurts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Just because somebody is open about their illness in the past doesn't mean that they're going to be as open about what is happening in their present.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: There is a real danger of becoming cynical. You shut yourself off from certain motions that other normal people probably still feel. I've become harder in some ways, but some things always penetrate. There are things you can't push away or push out or shut your eyes to. I think especially when you're -- you know, when you're a parent. You know, it's the -- the kids will get you every time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: What was interesting is that he could deliver something that was sad or tragic or very serious and then -- and in an instant uses sense of humor to take you somewhere else.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: Clams with pork crackles. How could that not be good? This is the way so many of the great meals of my life I did enjoy. Sitting in the street, eating something out of a bowl and I'm not exactly sure what it is. Scooters going by. So delicious. I feel like an animal. Where have you been all my life?

Fellow travelers, this is what you want. This is what you need. This is the path to true happiness and wisdom.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: A lot of people try to do first person wanderlust travel work and show you things in places, but it doesn't really take off, why? Because you don't really care about what that person thinks about thing, but with Tony Bourdain you cared about what Tony thought.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[20:55:00] BOURDAIN: I think we've learned something here today in Chiang Mai, I can't summon exactly what that might be right now. You know, I was thinking about what Muhammad said, you know, don't tell me what a man knows or what he says. Tell me where he's traveled. You learn stuff.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR: Language is storytelling. Language is culture. Language is civilization, and he used it to maximum effect.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: It's morning in the Arabian desert. The place explorer Bertram Thomas called the abode of death. But it's a beautiful place, the kind of place I look for more and more these days. Stark, empty, clean sand that stretches out seemingly forever.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: As somebody who spent a lot of years travelling, you know, it takes a toll and it's hard. And it's -- you're in hotel rooms, and you're on planes, and you're away from loved ones and you're in places, you know, you're far out on the edge and often it's very lonely.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: My rented villa is pleasant enough, but to be perfectly honest, lonely. Is it worse to be some place awful when you're by yourself or someplace really nice that you can't share with anyone?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR: He was generous in how he treated the rest of the world, how he respected the rest of the world, how he never considered anybody or any country or any ethnicity to be either beneath him or beneath the dignity of having their story told by him.

COOPER: I just turned 51, and I remember thinking, wow, if I could age like he is aging. I mean, he was, what, 61? And you know, he was getting tattoos and doing jujitsu, and he was just -- he actually -- he actually -- I was actually thinking about this about two months ago that I looked at him as somebody who actually gave me hope for what one's life could become, you know, at -- could be at 61.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: Where is home? Most of us are born with the answer. Others have to sift through the pieces.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: And he touched on the basic ingredients for all humanity no matter where it exists, and that's why no place was too remote, no people too obscure, no cuisine too exotic. He could make everything familiar. What a gift, what a blessing that was. The tragedy is, that it wasn't enough for Tony to know his own self-worth.

BALDWIN: Losing Tony, losing a member of your family, our CNN family.

AMANPOUR: I hope that our world can take just one more gift from Tony Bourdain and really, really, really, really try to explore in all its facets the problems of mental health.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: Another tattoo is never going to make me younger or tougher or more relevant. It won't reconnect me 10 years from now with some spiritual crossroads in my life. No. At this point, I think, my body is like an old car. Another dent ain't going to make a whole lot of difference. At best, it's a reminder that you're still alive and lucky as hell.

Another tattoo, another thing you did, another place you've been.

A final, long gaze at the river. Take in probably for the last time in my life the slow rhythms of the village.

One more thing to do. Say good-bye to an old friend.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAMEROTA: Anthony Bourdain had a way about him. A way of making us all want to be him. He had a lust for life.