Have you ever been asked, “If you could dine with anyone in the world….who would it be?”
I was in a café in Budapest, Hungary with a few of my nutrition colleagues 11 years ago when this question came up. When it was my turn to answer, I already knew….”Anthony “Tony” Bourdain”.
“Why?” my colleagues asked--he eats seal eyes.” I pause for a minute and then state: “when I travel to another country and especially when I dine with locals who serve me their best local recipes….I enjoy the meal with them and say, "thank you" That’s what Anthony did too; for so many years. Eat with the locals and say thank you at the end of the meal.
I never had the pleasure of dining with Tony, but I had the pleasure of seeing him speak twice—once at my national Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics conference and once in St Petersburg at the Mahaffey Theater. His passion for integrity and authenticity with a handful of wit and controversy was the main pitch and it is how I roll too--with flavor at the top of the food chain.
I did however have the pleasure of dining and conversing with another gem, Sarah-Jane Bedwell. She was a shining burst of light with nutrition and food stories too. She was well respected as a dietitian, media personality and a genuinely sweet person. She passed away June 16, 2018. Sarah-Jane was also an inspiration to over 100K dietitian and nutrition experts in the US and beyond. Sarah-Jane and I had a running joke when we caught up with each other: “Shall I say I am Sarah Beth while I am with Sarah-Jane?” She is Sarah-Jane- no doubt. She is loved.
When I wrote the part 1 of this blog to honor Tony, I had no idea my world (and so many others) would be impacted by the death of Sarah-Jane in the same month. The wind has been knocked out
of me twice this month—maybe you can relate?
As a dietitian/nutritionist I have little training in understanding the psychology of the ‘why’ we lost these two gems. However, my colleague, Dr. Quinlan, has a better picture as a clinical psychologist and explains here: http://www.healthylifestylestampabay.com/
I received a gift today: at the dinner table we were talking about mustard (I LOVE mustard in all forms) and my son was ready to try the ‘seedy one’. This reminded me of the parable of the mustard seed in Matthew 13:31-32. “Duh”, I think—yes, of course!! I mentioned in the part 1 blog about how we can carry on the legacy of Tony…the story…the education to others on food and nutrition. We can all plant the mustard seeds and watch it grow—you never know who will learn from you. You can inspire others--just be present. I am thankful I took a picture of mustard plants in California a few years ago. What a vision!
How will you carry out the legacy of Tony and Sarah-Jane? It starts with eating amazing (or just) meals with a stranger, a friend or family. Every meal is a gift we have—I can’t wait to cook for my clients and family tomorrow!
Anthony Bourdain’s birthday was June 25th. He would have been 62. Sarah-Jane Shields Bedwell was 36. Her birthday was May 2. They both were legacies in their passion—food, travel and nutrition education. Share your story with others---What is your story to share that connects their stories?