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Anthony Bourdain’s famous chef friends toast to him in Singapore on his 63rd birthday

Jose Andres and Eric Ripert, who are in town for the World’s Best Restaurants awards, have designated Jun 25 as #BourdainDay and urged fans to “celebrate Tony’s life”.

Anthony Bourdain’s famous chef friends toast to him in Singapore on his 63rd birthday

Chef and TV host Anthony Bourdain was found dead on Jun 8, 2018. (Photo: AFP/Angela Weiss)

Some of Anthony Bourdain’s closest chef friends are toasting him on Tuesday (Jun 25) on what would have been his 63rd birthday.

Chefs Jose Andres and Eric Ripert, who are in Singapore for the World's 50 Best Restaurants awards, marked the day by partaking in some of Bourdain’s favourite activities: Drinking a cold beer and eating street food.

They had gathered at Keng Eng Kee Seafood in Bukit Merah Lane 1 together with restaurant owner Paul Liew, who was also a close friend of Bourdain's, to honour his memory. Liew was among several Singapore restaurateurs Bourdain consulted for his Asian-styled Pier 57 food market project in Manhattan, which was scrapped in late 2017.

“Cheers to Anthony Bourdain,” they said in their Instagram video.

The two chefs announced a few weeks ago that Jun 25 would be #BourdainDay. The idea behind it was to change the tone of the late chef and TV host’s birthday from a sombre to a celebratory one, a year after he died by suicide on Jun 8, 2018.

They have also urged fans of the Parts Unknown host to celebrate the day by recording a video of themselves toasting Bourdain with a drink of their choice, posting it on social media and using the hashtag #BourdainDay.

The chefs vowed to keep the tradition of remembering Bourdain on his birthday every year. “We will make sure that Anthony is being remembered on his birthday, and not when he left," said Ripert.

Andres explained in an interview with the Washington Post: "The beauty of the Bourdain Day toast is that you can do it anywhere … People can celebrate at home, people can celebrate at the top of a mountain, people can celebrate in a bar in Guatemala, in Antigua. People can celebrate anywhere."

Ripert was with the late chef on the day he died, and was the one who discovered him unresponsive in his hotel room in France.

Bourdain was known to be a fan of Singapore food and Keng Eng Kee Seafood was one of his favourite spots. According to Makansutra's KF Seetoh, the late chef enjoyed the black vinegar claypot pig trotters there. 

Results for the World's Best Restaurants awards will be announced Tuesday evening.

Source: CNA/sr