When I was in college, I was obsessed with the food industry. I was just beginning to fall in love with cooking. I found myself reading endlessly about different styles of cooking from different chefs. When I found out Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert were visiting a nearby university for a speech, I couldn’t pass it up. I was at the edge of my seat hearing about their culinary stories and their friendship. What stood out to me most was when he was asked where was his favorite country to visit he said, “Vietnam.” He kept talking about how much he fell in love with the food, the people, the country, and the culture when he visited there and it made me fall in love more with my family’s history.
His passing stunned the both of us, especially me.
I’m in disbelief that someone so loved, inspiring, and unique struggled with such dark demons that he couldn’t imagine his place in this world anymore. After writing about all of the hidden secrets of the culinary world, we are left wondering about the unknown parts of his mind. I just hope so deeply that he somehow found the peace he was looking for. Our thoughts are always with the loved ones that people leave behind.
In light of what has happened, we have removed all references relating to Michael’s ex and her own struggle with mental illness. She has privately informed me that she is seeking help and therapy and we only hope she betters herself. We wish her the best as she finds a path of positivity and light. It is critical that ones struggling with mental illness seek the help they deserve.