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Anthony Bourdain’s Home State Opens Official Food Trail in His Honor

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Although he was born in New York City, Anthony Bourdain spent most of his childhood growing up in Leonia, New Jersey.

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Although he was born in New York City, Anthony Bourdain spent most of his childhood growing up in Leonia, New Jersey.

New Jersey officials debuted the Anthony Bourdain Food Trail, a statewide collection of local eateries where Bourdain filmed for a 2015 episode of “Parts Unknown.”

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In the days, weeks, and months following Anthony Bourdain’s death last June, people around the world honored the late chef, author, and TV host by sharing personal stories of how he influenced them through his food-inspired travels. One year later, Bourdain’s legacy continues to be commemorated.

On June 13, the state of New Jersey (where Bourdain grew up) paid homage to his life with the debut of the Anthony Bourdain Food Trail. Officiated by the New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism, the statewide trail runs from Bergen County down to Monmouth, Ocean, Atlantic, and Camden counties and includes 10 eateries that Bourdain visited in a 2015 episode of his Emmy-winning CNN series, Parts Unknown. Establishments on the route range from an 1890s oyster house to a restaurant and bar where during the New Jersey episode of Parts Unknown, Bourdain famously rivaled the specialty cheesesteaks on the menu with those found at any Philly joint. All of the eateries are located in areas accessible by car, train, or bus from New York City (and Philadelphia too).

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According to NJ.com, a local news source on hand at the June 13 opening of the Anthony Bourdain Food Trail, members of the late chef’s family were present at the launch. The debut took place at Hiram’s Roadstand in Fort Lee, a 1930s hot dog stand that Bourdain used to frequent as a kid. (In the New Jersey episode of Parts Unknown used as inspiration for the statewide route, Bourdain and his brother, Chris, reminisce about their childhood summers spent on the Jersey Shore over a meal at Kubel’s—a seafood restaurant that specializes in crab cakes and pies along the food trail.)

“It’s a bittersweet day for me because obviously Tony should be here,” said Chris Bourdain at the trail commemoration held at Hiram’s Roadstand. He then encouraged people to explore New Jersey’s culinary diversity beyond the trail’s 10 stops—a suggestion that suits the spirit of what people worldwide loved so much about his brother.

Here are the official Anthony Bourdain Food Trail locations:

The Anthony Bourdain Food Trail is just one way that the late chef’s life is being honored a year following his death. At the end of May, CNN released Anthony Bourdain Remembered, a tribute book of “memories and anecdotes” from fans, journalists, and prominent figures who met and spent time with Bourdain. It includes commentary from Barack Obama, who famously grabbed beer and noodles with Bourdain in Hanoi, Vietnam, on an episode of CNN’s Parts Unknown.

Also at the end of May, two of Bourdain’s longtime friends, chefs Eric Ripert and José Andrés, sent a tweet declaring that they would recognize June 25 (Bourdain’s birthday) as “Bourdain Day.” In the same tweet, the chefs called June “a very important month” and encouraged people around the world to share tributes to Bourdain on June 25 using the hashtag #BourdainDay. 

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