Remembering Anthony Bourdain With Chef Michael White - Exclusive

It would be safe to say that no chef took hold of the food world's heart quite like Anthony Bourdain, whose critique on food was less straightforward review and more punk poetry. In an exclusive Tasting Table interview with Michael White, the chef regaled us with memories of his pal.

White and Bourdain traveled through Emilia Romagna, Italy to shoot an episode of "No Reservations" in a red Ferrari. The trip was full of beautiful moments and raucous evenings. Sitting atop a picturesque hill, sipping Sangiovese at Tre Monti vineyard, Bourdain spoke about happiness. Turning to wine producer Vittorio, he said, "We all work for this sort of a dream. I mean, the fantasy is to be sitting at a table like this, eating freshly made pasta, drinking wine this good, and looking at this. ... And you have it. ... You're making me very happy."

When Bourdain died, White told Page Six, "I am positively gutted by the loss of Anthony Bourdain. ... He was a giant. ... It was on that trip that I realized that everyone who had ever read, watched, or met Anthony Bourdain was getting the real him. He had the unique ability to come to his craft prepared, but not scripted. He never went in before the cameras started rolling, so when you saw him walking into a room full of Parmigiano and experiencing it for the first time, that was it. He was in life as he was on camera — just as fearless, funny, righteous, and human."

It's been 10 years since the duo's "No Reservations" episode aired, and chef White reflected back on his time with Bourdain.

Adventures in Emila Romagna

When asked about the trip, chef Michael White told Tasting Table, "Listen, Anthony is fantastic and thoroughly missed. But we had this amazing time. Obviously memories that I'll hold for a long time. I'm so happy that I got to see all those things and do that. Then, everybody else got to see those things too." He gave us some insight into just how much it took to make the show, saying, "It was nine days of just pandemonium with all the cameras and having a hotel room just for the cameras. Nobody really knows what goes into that. I didn't either, what goes into such a big program like that, you know? ... It's a lot of work and there's a lot of people behind the scenes doing this."

White is no stranger to the Emilia Romagna region, having spent years training there as a young chef (via BBianco Hospitality). White and Bourdain might have driven sports cars through the streets of Italy while eating and drinking the best dishes the region had to offer, but what stands out most for White from the trip happened off-camera, when shooting had wrapped for the day. One late night of belly laughs and palms slapping a bar led to an interesting trip back to the hotel. "On the way back from dinner one time, we were all in the back of a pickup truck at nighttime holding onto the roll bar going back to the hotel. Staying up, things like that. For sure. Many, many, many memories."

The Lambs Club, featuring a new menu courtesy of James Beard award-winning chef Michael White, is now open in New York's Theater District for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.