A Cook’s Tour: Celebrating the Life of Anthony Bourdain

Fundraiser set for Monday, June 25th

Brenda's Bites
June 22, 2018 - 12:15 am

When the shocking news broke on June 8th that celebrated chef, author, and television host Anthony Bourdain died of an apparent suicide in France, local chefs were stunned and distraught.  On the day of his passing, Jill Gedra, owner of Lait Cru Brasserie and Nickel City Cheese & Mercantile, and Kate Elliott, tap room manager at Community Beer Works, shared their feelings of sorrow and acknowledged how Bourdain was a tremendous influence in their lives.

“He was a cook’s cook, he was relatable, made mistakes, ate and drank too much,” Gedra recalled. “This life we’ve chosen is tough; Anthony Bourdain overcame drug and alcohol addiction and served as an inspiration to all of us,” she said.

She and Elliott talked to their colleagues in the local hospitality industry, which resulted in a food, wine, beer event in the Mary Seaton Room at Kleinhans. “A Cook’s Tour” will take place a mere 17 days after Bourdain’s death. It will feature 15 restaurants, three breweries, and wine, among other beverages. May were donated, as was the Kleinhans space, thanks to David Schutte at Oliver’s and the caterer at the music hall.

The planners have folks donating other services as well. “We have a therapist bringing a massage and we’ll have a gentleman playing guitar,” Gedra said.

Bourdain’s bigger than life image resonated with many local chefs. “Anthony Bourdain played a huge role in what I do today. He re-shaped the landscape of our industry,” explained Bryan Mecozzi, Black Iron Bystro owner and executive chef. He’ll be participating Monday night in what he described as “a happy/sad event.”

Tickets sold out on June 20th, with an expected crowd of up to 400 people.

Proceeds will benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s WNY Chapter. Other mental health agencies will have tables at the event.

For more information on the June 25th fundraiser, visit “A Cook’s Tour” on Facebook.


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