BRADDOCK (KDKA) — It was just a year ago that famed chef, writer and world-traveler Anthony Bourdain was visiting the Pittsburgh area, taping for his CNN show, “Parts Unknown.”
While he was here, he made a lasting impact on the many Pittsburghers he met. Following the news of his death, they are grieving the loss of a man who they describe as authentic.
Chef Kevin Sousa spent Friday working through his grief. Bourdain was his friend, mentor and role model.
“Sad. I’d be lying if I told you… I shed more than a few tears today,” said Sousa, who runs Superior Motors restaurant in Braddock.
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Bourdain filmed part of the Pittsburgh episode of his show in Superior Motors. It was before the restaurant opened.
“He was here, literally, a year ago today. We were filming right here,” said Sousa.
Sousa made dinner for Bourdain and Braddock Mayor John Fetterman, who is now a candidate for lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania.
“A great loss for people all over. He was just an authentic person, the best way I can describe him,” said Fetterman.
Sousa, rocked by Bourdain’s suicide, says he’s seen it before. He calls the restaurant business incredibly destructive at times.
“We’ve all been in those dark places, myself included. There’s millions of cooks out there right now mourning his death,” said Sousa. “Every service in this country tonight is going to be dedicated to Bourdain. There are going to be too many drinks toasting his life.”
Fetterman hopes this tragedy will help people reach out to those facing difficult times in their lives.
“I can look at that and say, this man was adored by tens of millions and had all these resources, and I need to go get help myself. I need to talk to people. I need to seek out help,” said Fetterman. “If that comes from that, and more conversations happen, maybe something good can come from what is a great loss for people all over.”
Sousa says Bourdain put Superior Motors on the map. He will forget that. He will also never forget the dinner he cooked for Bourdain just one year ago.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is staffed around the clock. The number is 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).