Anthony Bourdain's Friend Recalls How His Daughter Reacted to His Death

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Anthony Bourdain
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Anthony Bourdain's friends and colleagues are speaking about the famed chef's life and legacy following his death in June.

As part of a lengthy retrospective in GQ, Doug Quint, Bourdain's close friend and owner of NYC's Big Gay Ice Cream, reveals how Ariane, the late TV personality's 11-year-old daughter with Ottavia Busia, reacted to the news of her father's death.

"That day, Ariane said to me something like, 'Is this something that people outside of New York are gonna know about?'" Quint recalls to the magazine. "And we were like, 'Yeah. All around the world, people are sad about this.' Telling her that made me realize, Jesus, God, this is world news. He changed lives around the world."

Quint also remembers a sweet moment between Bourdain and his then 5-year-old daughter, to whom he left most of his estate.

"It was at a rental house out in the Hamptons, and it was the first time I'd ever spent a night with him or anything like that," Quint shares. "Their daughter at that time was probably five. She came and tapped on Ottavia's arm and whispered to her, and Ottavia said, 'Oh, she's going to do her song.' And I said, 'What does that mean?' And Tony said, 'Don't ask. Just watch.'"

"Ottavia took her phone and cued up 'Call Me Maybe,' and Ariane came out from behind the wall and lip-synced and acted the whole thing out. Picking up a phone and fake calling into a phone, and it was just the most f**kin' adorable thing I'd ever seen," he continues. "I remember looking over at Tony, and he just stared at her with this look on his face like, just he was seeing perfection and couldn't believe it had come out of him, you know? It's exactly what you want to see in a parent's eyes when they look at their kid. I sometimes didn't like Tony, but I always loved Tony, and there was a lot to love when I saw that look come out at her."

Josh Homme -- the frontman of Queens of the Stone Age, who composed the theme song for Bourdain's show, Parts Unknown -- also opens up to the magazine about Bourdain's relationship with his daughter.

"I was saying to him, 'I want my daughter to do martial arts and learn to play piano.' And he said, 'I don't care what she does, as long as she loves it,'" Homme says. "I thought that was beautiful, because that is the right attitude for parenting. Not to push -- to help someone be who they already are and to help someone search hard enough to find who they could be."

Following Bourdain's death, Busia shared a photo of Ariane singing on Instagram. "Our little girl had her concert today," she captioned the pic. "She was amazing. So strong and brave. She wore the boots you bought her. I hope you are having a good trip, wherever you are."

The GQ article also shares some quirky revelations about Bourdain. "He had an AOL e-mail address," Peter Meehan, the co-founder of Lucky Peach, discloses. "Very klutzy," Lydia Tenaglia, a producer on many of Bourdain's series, jokes.

Additionally, Bourdain's friends have stories of his personality, spirit and generosity. 

"When we went to Sichuan, I knew very well that I was going to suffer with the spices, and he knew, too. He asked me before I went, 'Are you okay with that?' And I said, 'Yes, I'm gonna be a good sport,'" Eric Ripert, a fellow chef and Bourdain's good friend, recalls. "Now, I didn't know to which degree I was going to suffer, but it was unbearable. It was so bad that one night I said, 'Tony, I can't anymore.… Take me to Hooters.'"

"Next to the hotel was a Hooters. He was like, 'You're kidding me.' I said, 'No, I'm not. I'm not. My stomach is burned, I can't.' And he said, 'Okay, let's go to Hooters,'" Ripert continues. "And he took all the production, invited everyone. So all the cameramen, everybody, we all went to Hooters in Chengdu in the middle of China. I needed a break. I ordered a burger with a weird name. I needed bread."

Matt Goulding, the co-founder of Roads & Kingdoms, notes the author's punctuality. 

"You could never beat Anthony Bourdain to a meeting. It was impossible. And if you were late to a meeting, you probably wouldn't get a second one," Goulding quips. "The guy showed up 15, 20 minutes early to everything in his life."

"I remember the last time that I saw him was out in L.A., and we were going into Netflix with a show that we were developing with him. We said, 'You know what? Let's try to get there 20 minutes early. We've got to beat Bourdain,'" he continues. "And so we show up there 22 minutes early into the lobby. Sure enough, there's Tony sitting there with his legs crossed, with his newspaper out and his cup of coffee. And he's like, 'Enough, guys, you're never going to beat me.'"

For author Michael Ruhlman, it was an encounter at Bourdain's restaurant that sticks in his mind.

"There was this woman who was a foodie, but she was a student and she was poor. And she used to go by his restaurant every day. She'd just stand out there, looking in and smelling the smells and thinking about it," Ruhlman fondly remembers. "One day Tony came out and said, 'Hey, I see you here all the time.' She said, 'Yeah, I can't afford to eat here.' He said, 'Come in. I'm gonna feed you.' And so he fed her a steak and a proper béarnaise sauce while she sat amongst the crowd."

Watch the video below for more on Bourdain:

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