EMERYVILLE, Calif. (KGO) -- Anthony Bourdain is perhaps best known for coming to the rescue of underdogs. The celebrity chef introduced the world to up and coming Bay Area chefs and old gems, like Trader Vic's in Emeryville.
The owner of Navi Kitchen, also in Emeryville, Preeti Mistry, remembers how his visit helped propel her career.
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"People would come even two and a half years after the show aired, wanting the dishes that he had on the show. My servers used to call them the Bourdainers," said Mistry.
Known as one of the best chefs in the world, The French Laundry's Thomas Keller remember Bourdain as cool and irreverent.
"His life and work are a testament to the power of cooking to make the world a kinder, more connected place," expressed Keller.
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Renowed Chef and Food activist Alice Waters of Berkeley's Chez Panisse said he connected the world through food.
"He introduced the chefs and validated that person's work and he did this around the world," said Waters.
One of her favorite personal stories was when she called Bourdain on the phone in the middle of the night after watching an episode where he featured Ethiopian chefs. He was in Australia at the time, sleeping. He didn't mind getting a call from Waters.
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"I couldn't say enough about that connection between the food and the culture and what I learned about Ethiopia in that hour," explained Waters.
Those who met him say Bay Area chefs have lost a champion, who was loyal to his craft.
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