In 2013 I spent two days with Anthony Bourdain, showing him around Jerusalem. The conversations were brilliant and the meals delicious. I quickly realized that I was talking to a man with an incredibly intuitive understanding of very complicated situations. He took nothing as a given. Everything was questioned, discussed, debated. He understood how important it is to get to know individuals, instead of simply taking the official line we’re always given.
Jerusalem gets its fair share of visitors. They listen to the same stories, get the same narrative. For Tony, this was never enough. When the show came out, covering Israel, and the West Bank, and Gaza, you could immediately tell that this was no ordinary visitor. He visits Gaza, meets Jewish settlers in the West Bank, turns over every stone, and ends up telling a complex and very human story. This was his strength, and it shows how brilliant Tony was as a storyteller.