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Chef David Chang Opens Up About Depression After Bourdain’s Death

On an episode of his new podcast, David Chang goes deep on what Anthony Bourdain meant to him personally—,and how his death has made him think about his own struggles with mental illness and depression

Chang begins by saying that he is still in “denial” and is “refusing to accept” that Bourdain is gone. “He is, to many people that have never met him, their friend,” he adds, still referring to him in the present tense. “What you see on TV or read about in his books, that’s actually Tony. He’s been Uncle Tony to many of us in this business. The cool uncle, the sage, the oracle, the person who will dole out advice. In many ways, he’s been my mentor and my north star, because he trail-blazed a path that would not be available to me otherwise.” “I miss him so much,” Chang continues. “And I regret not getting to see him more the past couple of years, but he was on the road and he wanted to spend time with his kid.” In additon to thinking about Bourdain’s family, Chang said his heart also goes out to Eric Ripert “one of the best chefs in the world,” who found his friend Bourdain dead last week. Calling them the “silver fox club,” he says, “Those two guys, they had a real bond together.” His voice on the verge of tears, Chang adds, “It’s going to be tough, but the intrepid traveler, the fearless leader, we will move on and do it in his honor and make it better.” Chang’s recent Netflix series Ugly Delicious owes a huge debt to Bourdain’s No Reservations and Parts Unknown Instead of basing each episode on a location like Vietnam or Charleston, South Carolina, Chang centers each installment of Ugly Delicious on a theme like pizza or tacos. But otherwise, the two shows share a very similar DNA and ethos. Before launching that show, Chang also became the season one subject of the Bourdain-produced PBS show The Mind of a Chef his first reluctant foray into the world of food TV

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