Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain promises an emotional rollercoaster for fans of the chef | Condé Nast Traveller IndiaJune 4, 2021
Anthony Bourdain stars in Morgan Neville’s documentary, ROADRUNNER. Photo: Focus Features
You’re hooked from the first line, as the makers accept the undeniable truth head-on. There’s Bourdain saying: “Here’s a little preemptive truth-telling. There is no happy ending.”
Academy Award-winning documentarian Morgan Neville (20 Feet From Stardom, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?) honours the life of the acclaimed late chef, author, and travel host Anthony Bourdain in his new film Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain that explores the chef’s past and his mammoth influence on the food industry. The beautiful trailer cuts between footage from Tony’s old shows that show him travelling across the globe and interviews with his friends, associates and family who reflect back on their time with him. We see clips of Momofuku’s chef David Chang, as well as his former wife Ottavia Busia Bourdain in the 2:40min piece.
Roadrunner traces the rockstar chef’s rise to fame as the intrepid traveller we all knew and loved. There’s his voice yet again: “One minute I was standing next to a deep fryer, and the next I was watching the sun set over the Sahara,” Bourdain says in the trailer. “What am I doing here?”
As per the blurb on Focus Features’ website: “the film is an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at how an anonymous chef became a world-renowned cultural icon… this unflinching look at Bourdain reverberates with his presence, in his own voice and in the way he indelibly impacted the world around him.”
Bourdain, now a global cult figure for chefs and food writers across the globe began his unique chef-traveller journey with his no-holds-barred 1999 article Don’t eat before you read this about NYC restaurant life in The New Yorker. His 2000 book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly quickly followed, earning him the reputation of a no BS, tell-it-like-it-is personality, setting him apart from other celebrity chefs and food personalities on television. His series A Cook’s Tour, No Reservations and CNN’s Parts Unknown shone a spotlight on the cuisine and culture of lesser-known parts of the world, launching him into stardom. Fans across the world were heartbroken when in 2018 he died by suicide at 61.
The film premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York on 11 June and will release in theatres across the US on 16 July. Post that, it will air on CNN and on the HBO Max streaming service in the US.
The film promises to be bittersweet, allowing viewers to relive the joys of Tony Bourdain’s tongue-in-cheek storytelling, while being sadly reminded that we will never see him again.