Anthony Bourdain , 61, a Leonia native has committed suicide. New Jersey natives would remember him for his CNN show “Parts Unknown”, which in one episode in 2015, gave a chance to his audiences, to learn about other cultures of New Jersey through their food.
He talked about how his dad took him and his younger brother, Chris to Hiram’s in Fort Lee for a classic Jersey “ripper” hot dog. He spoke fondly about his childhood at the Jersey Shore while enjoying fried clams at Frank’s near the beach.
“To know Jersey is to love her,” Bourdain said on the episode.
He visited his “beloved” Hiram’s in Fort Lee for a hot dog, got a cheesesteak in Camden at Donkey’s Place, and a pastrami sandwich at Frank’s Deli in Asbury Park, among other places.
“This is my happy place,” Bourdain said of Hiram’s. “Sometimes, you just need that old-time flavor here. These are the finest hot dogs in the land.”
Bourdain said he would hitch-hike regularly down to the Jersey Shore, where he would go to Frank’s. Every time he has clams in butter, it takes him back to Frank’s.
“I remember this place with nothing but fondness. I can’t remember a single bad memory here,” Bourdain said.
And it turns out, the best cheesestakes are not in Philadelphia, but at Donkey’s Place in Camden, he said.
“It’s round, it’s got steak, spices, ground onions, real American cheese, such as it is, and a poppy seed roll, and it is sublime,” Bourdain said of the cheesesteak at Donkey’s. “I drove a long way for this, thinking about it the whole way. This sandwich should be a national landmark right away. This sandwich is unbelievably good.”
The people at Donkey’s expressed their grief over Bourdain’s death on Twitter Friday.
“Rest peacefully Anthony Bourdain, chef, author, and TV personality. We can’t thank you enough for your visit with us — it is talked about almost daily and still brings people in three years later,” the tweet stated. “You will be missed.”