WATCH: Anthony Bourdain remembered at Frank’s Deli in Asbury Park
Tanya Breen and Austin Bogues, Asbury Park Press
A little more than a year ago, foodies around the world were shocked and saddened when celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain took his own life while traveling in France.
This was June 8, 2018, two weeks shy of his 62nd birthday.
This month, New Jersey – the chef’s home state – will honor his memory with the launch of the Anthony Bourdain Food Trail, a statewide tribute that includes 10 of the restaurants he visited for a 2015 episode of his CNN food and travel show, “Parts Unknown.”
The food trail is the work of Assemblyman Paul Moriarty (D-Gloucester), Assemblywoman Carol Murphy (D-Burlington), and Assemblywoman Angela McKnight (D-Hudson), who tasked the state Division of Travel and Tourism with its creation just weeks after Bourdain’s death.
Looking back: NJ moves forward with creation of Anthony Bourdain Food Trail
“A designated trail of Bourdain’s favorite dining spots is a fitting way to honor the memory of one of New Jersey’s best known chefs,” Murphy said. “Even after international fame, he never forgot his Jersey roots. Each episode, Bourdain brought his homegrown wit, charm and sense of humanity to his viewers. He became a New Jersey food icon.”
The trail kick offs June 13 and 14 with statewide ceremonies featuring Chris Bourdain, Anthony Bourdain’s brother; New Jersey Secretary of State Tahesha Way, and Jeffrey Vasser, executive director of the New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism. The visits, which are open to the public, are as follows:
- June 13: 10:30 a.m., Hiram’s Roadstand, 1345 Palisade Ave. in Fort Lee; 2 p.m., Frank’s Deli, 1406 Main St. in Asbury Park; 4 p.m., Lucille’s Country Cooking, 1496 Main St. in Barnegat; and 5 p.m., Kubel’s, 28 W. 7th St. in Barnegat Light.
- June 14: 11 a.m., James’ Salt Water Taffy, 1519 Boardwalk in Atlantic City; 2 p.m. at Donkey’s Place, 1223 Haddon Ave. in Camden.
On the first day, Chris Bourdain will visit Hiram’s and Frank’s with Secretary of State Way and Vasser; the officials will continue to the remaining stops. On June 13, Vasser and local officials will visit James’ Salt Water Taffy and Donkey’s Place.
Following the trail:Next week, USA TODAY NETWORK food writer Esther Davidowitz will follow the Anthony Bourdain Food Trail from north to south. Follow along on Instagram @EstherDavidowitz and @jersey.shore.eats and check back for video at APP.com.
Bourdain in New Jersey
Anthony Bourdain grew up in Bergen County’s Leonia and summered on Long Beach Island. For the New Jersey episode of “Parts Unknown,” in addition to the restaurants above, he visited Tony and Ruth Steaks in Camden and Fork, Dock’s Oyster House and Tony’s Baltimore Grill in Atlantic City.
“Last summer, we kept his photograph in it after his passing, as well,” said Michelle Egan, whose father, Ken, owns Kubel’s in Barnegat Light. “His spot was very popular and brought people from all over.”
The chef and his team dined on the clams, homemade clam chowder, grilled mahi mahi sandwiches, and lobster and asparagus macaroni and cheese.
In the episode, Bourdain also played pinball at Asbury Park’s Silverball Museum with local music icon Southside Johnny Lyon, and the pair visited Frank’s Deli.
“They were eating a pastrami sandwich and donuts and stuff like that,” deli owner Joe Maggio said following the visit. “It’s very exciting.”
Shortly after Bourdain’s suicide, Maggio reflected on the experience.”The guy goes all over the world sampling food from different places, and then he came to Frank’s.”
Go: Frank’s Deli is at 1406 Main St. in Asbury Park; 732-775-6682, franksdelinj.com.
Sarah Griesemer joined the Press more than 15 years ago and has held a variety of positions since, but the work she does now is her favorite: food writing. Her favorite stories to write are the ones that make a difference for the Shore’s mom and pop restaurants. Find all of her food stories at app.com (better yet, subscribe!), write to her at email@example.com and follow @jersey.shore.eats.
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