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Looking back at Bourdain's love of food — from his most recent meals to favorite dishes

Anthony Bourdain in 2005
Getty Images | Fairfax Media
Anthony Bourdain in 2005

The world was shocked to hear of chef and TV star Anthony Bourdain's death, reported by CNN on Friday. The culinary star was know for his rebellious attitude, his travels and most of all, his love of food.

Fittingly, his last Instagram post was of a meal he'd eaten. The photo, captioned "Light lunch," shows a plate of pork and sausage, potato and sauerkraut. Though it's not clear where the photo was taken, Bourdain was reportedly in Alsace in the northeastern region of France when he died, filming an episode of CNN's "Parts Unknown."

The dish, called "choucroute garnie" (sauerkraut with pork and sausage) in French, is typical of the region where Bourdain was traveling and consists of wine-braised sauerkraut, cured pork and sausages.

Indeed, food is much of Bourdain's legacy. "People confuse me. Food doesn't," he wrote in his 2000 bestselling book, "Kitchen Confidential." "I just know what I see. And I understand it. It makes perfect sense."

Bourdain was known to be a meat lover. Newsweek called him a "committed carnivore," and Bourdain wrote of his love of meat in "Kitchen Confidential."

In particular Bourdain was a fan of New York City delis, like Pastrami Queen, which Bourdain was particularly vocal about.

In 2016, Bourdain posted an Instagram photo of the deli's famous pastrami sandwich. "Straight off the plane. 10AM. The joys of travel are many, but sometimes there's no place like home. #PastramiQueen #NewYorkMotherf---inCity."

Pastrami Queen, in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, opened in 1956. The Wall Street Journal named it one of the best places to get NY's signature sandwich (pastrami on rye). The World Famous Hot Pastrami sandwich is $18. Pastrami is considered expensive because it is processed many times, smoked and steamed.

Pastrami Queen's most recent post was in memory of Anthony Bourdain. "@anthonybourdain always had great things to say about our restaurant. We worked with Tony on a couple of projects over the last few years that gave our reputation a huge boost because of how popular his opinion was. It is with the heaviest of hearts that we say goodbye to our dear friend. We grew so used to seeing Tony when he came home to NYC after traveling abroad. We wish we could welcome him home just one more time. RIP Chef, you left us too soon."

Bourdain was known to be a big fan of pork. Travel Channel said it was his weakness, and Bourdain even called pork his "favorite vegetable."

For his Travel Channel show "No Reservations," he was constantly looking for the best pork or pig, from NYC to Australia.

Another favorite of Bourdain's appeared in Season 2 of Travel Channel's "No Reservations." He visited Ibu Oka in Ubud, Bali, raving about the roasted suckling pig. The restaurant continues to have long lines after his visit. Bourdain also headed to Cebu, a tropical island in the Philippines (Season 5) for its famous "lechon" (roasted suckling pig). He takes a bite of the skin and says, "The skin's extraordinary. It tastes like candy."

Bourdain also loved pasta. Travel + Leisure reported that the chef had "spoken at length about his love for "cacio e pepe." It's a simple Italian pasta dish that can be created in just a few minutes. Some consider it the Italian equivalent of macaroni and cheese — a simple crowd-pleaser.

When TMZ asked him about his top three favorite meals of all time, he named "spaghetti pomodoro in a cracked bowl anywhere."

In a 2017 interview with Boston Globe, Bourdain said: "Every restaurant in the world, every hotel has spaghetti bolognese on the menu and I have a perverse desire to see how they make it. It's become a joke with my crew. We try to always eat what's local always — especially in a country with delicious food — but in our down time, we all succumb now and again to the spaghetti bolognese, if only for the comedy value."

Bourdain also named restaurants Paul Bocuse in Lyon, France, and Jiro in Tokyo, Japan to TMZ.

The Paul Bocuse website reads "Straight out of a Baroque theatre set, in a style that veers between overbearing and outrageous, with a facade in emblematic colours, ornaments that are a nod to the culinary arts, the Auberge du Pont de Collonges attracts gourmets from far and wide wishing to savour the Holy Grail of gastronomy."

Jiro refers to Sukiyabashi Jiro, the subject of the award-winning 2011 documentary, "Jiro Dreams of Sushi" about the sushi restaurant and its founder. Jiro, with only 10 counter seats, serves an omakase tasting menu. "Observe the reservation time, and try not to be late. Because we cook rice and prepare [vinegar] rice based on your reservation time, if you are late, you won't be able to enjoy Sukiyabashi Jiro's sushi to the fullest," warns the website.

Eating sushi with his father, Pierre, was one of Bourdain's fond food memories. "Tony recalls travelling into New York City with his father during the seventies to try sushi, which at the time seemed impossibly exotic," wrote The New Yorker.

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