A year after the death of Anthony Bourdain, the chef and world-travelling television personality, the Culinary Institute of America is creating a scholarship in his memory.
The scholarship, announced on Wednesday, will be awarded each year to one or more students to pursue study abroad. “Travel was such a part of who he was; it was life-changing for him,” said L. Timothy Ryan, the president of the school, based in Hyde Park, New York, where Bourdain graduated in 1978 and received an honorary doctorate in 2017.
Bourdain was found dead last June in a hotel bathroom in Kaysersberg, a small village in the Alsace region of France, where officials determined that he had hanged himself. This year, as the June 8 anniversary of the death neared, one of his closest friends, Eric Ripert, the chef and an owner of Le Bernardin, said people approached him about ways to commemorate Bourdain.
“I thought it should be a celebration of Anthony Bourdain,” Ripert said. “It would be better to celebrate him on his birthday, June 25, not the day he died, with something meaningful to recognize him.”
Ripert started discussing ideas with the Spanish chef José Andrés, who was also a close friend of Bourdain’s, and with the managers of Bourdain’s estate.
At the same time, Ryan was starting to explore ways in which the school could recognize Bourdain. “Then Eric called and we came up with a collaborative effort to raise funds for a scholarship, the Anthony Bourdain Legacy Scholarship,” Ryan said.
He said it was too soon to know the monetary amount of the award because fundraising has just started, with a notice on the school’s website and the Wednesday announcement. Ryan said he hoped there would be enough money to bestow more than one grant a year and to establish the scholarship as an endowment fund.
Some kind of memorial to Bourdain will also be unveiled this fall on the school’s Hyde Park campus, he said. The culinary institute also has campuses in California, Texas and Singapore.
Ripert and Andrés are calling on the public to remember Bourdain during June, and to toast his life on June 25, which they have designated #BourdainDay, for posting commemorative videos and the like on social media. “That’s the best way to celebrate him,” Ripert said.