The Famed Food Chef, Anthony Bourdain, Was Born in Leonia
(TRENTON) – Paying homage to Jersey-born chef and travel show host, Assembly Members Paul Moriarty, Carol Murphy and Angela McKnight sponsored a resolution that calls on the Division of Travel and Tourism to establish the “Anthony Bourdain Food Trail” highlighting some of Bourdain’s New Jersey favorite eateries. The measure (AR-173) was approved by the full Assembly Thursday, 75-0.
Bourdain was born in Leonia, Bergen County, and spent his professional career in the restaurant industry. He worked his way up from being a dishwasher at a clam shack in Provincetown, Massachusetts to being the head chef in some of the country’s best restaurants, including the Rainbow Room and Les Halles in New York City.
“There’s no question that Anthony’s road to fame was not an easy one,” said Moriarty (D-Camden/Gloucester). “Even after international fame, he never forgot his Jersey roots. Each episode, Bourdain brought his homegrown wit, charm and sense of humanity to his viewers. He became a New Jersey food icon. It was heartbreaking for his fans and for those who knew him in Leonia to find out of his passing.”
“A designated trail of Bourdain’s favorite dining spots is a fitting way to honor the memory of one of New Jersey’s best known chefs,” said Murphy (D-Burlington). “Anthony’s triumphal story impacted so many people, and his love for New Jersey never wavered, so it is appropriate that we celebrate his legacy by creating this trail.”
“Not only will designating a food trail in Anthony Bourdain’s honor commemorate the love he always expressed for his home state of New Jersey, but it will also bring increased awareness to the plight of those with depression and other mental health issues,” said McKnight (D-Hudson). “Designating a food trail in Mr. Bourdain’s honor is a perfect way to remember his legacy.
Mr. Bourdain wrote best-selling books describing the high-pressure life of a chef in famous restaurants, including “Kitchen Confidential,” and later in life traveled the world experiencing, explaining, and enjoying local cuisine and culture in the popular television programs “No Reservation” and “Parts Unknown.”
Bourdain celebrated the food and culture of his native state in a 2015 episode of “Parts Unknown” where he visited 10 of his favorite eateries in different parts of the state and recalled his childhood spent on the beaches and restaurants of Long Beach Island.
The measure specifies that the tour would include the 10 eateries Mr. Bourdain visited in 2015 for “Parts Unknown.”
The places featured in that episode included: Kubel’s in Barnegat Light; Hiram’s Roadstand in Fort Lee; Knife and Fork in Atlantic City; Dock’s Oyster House in Atlantic City; Tony’s Baltimore Grill in Atlantic City; Tony and Ruth Steaks in Camden; Donkey’s Place in Camden; Lucille’s Country Cooking in Barnegat; Frank’s Deli in Asbury Park and James’ Salt Water Taffy in Atlantic City.