How Anthony Bourdain Really Felt About Posting Your Food On Instagram

Anthony Bourdain was nothing if not opinionated. From his views on brioche burger buns to his love of linguine with clams, Bourdain never shied away from sharing exactly how he felt about things. So, his feelings about posting food pictures on Instagram should come as a surprise to absolutely no one. He wasn't against it, but he certainly wasn't going to be humble about it, either.

In an interview for TIME, Bourdain said, "I don't want people to feel good when I take a picture of this amazing meal I'm having. I want them to feel bad. I'm very much guilty of the, 'Look what I'm eating and you're not. I hope you're eating Cheetos right now.'" This seemed to be Bourdain's way of calling out those beautifully composed pictures that come with an obligatory "wish you were here" caption. Does the poster wish followers were there with them? Or are they just bragging? Bourdain thought the latter.

From posting pictures of omelets covered in a heaping pile of caviar to ravioli in Turin or the chef's final post of meat, potatoes, and sauerkraut in Alsace, Bourdain never let anyone forget that it was literally his job to travel the world and eat. And honestly, how could folks not be envious of that? But even if he couldn't help but be part of the problem, as he saw it, he didn't hesitate to take shots at the practice. 

When to put your phone down

Throughout his career, Anthony Bourdain gave plenty of advice on how to experience cultures and connect with others through food. And while there is something to be said about how social media connects people in unique ways, there is nothing like the interpersonal connections you make over a meal; that was something Bourdain knew very well. In a video for Insider Tech, he stressed that eating like a local is the best way to experience a place: "What do they do there that is unique to that place, that they inarguably do better than anywhere else in the world?" You can't do that behind a phone screen.

And yet, Bourdain also believed it was important to share your travel photos on social media, so long as it was not the trip's focus. He said in the TIME interview, "If you're shooting everything, you'll be looking at your phone half the time rather than Paris. And, my God, it's Paris!" There are certain experiences you don't want to miss out on by putting all your energy into taking a thousand pictures.

Bourdain's wisdom is certainly missed but not at all forgotten. His Instagram account is still up and gets a lot of traffic even today, five years after his passing. So, if you're scrolling through his feed, remember the unique personality that was Bourdain and that he, too, struggled with the motivations behind posting what he got the chance to eat.