It’s hard to get unanimous agreement on anything in the State House in these fractious times. But Assembly members managed it Thursday, voting 75-0 for a measure that would establish the Anthony Bourdain Food Trail; it would highlight some of the New Jersey native’s favorite dining spots in the Garden State. The measure would specifically include the 10 eaties Bourdain visited in 2015 for the “Parts Unknown” television series.
Bourdain, who was born in Leonia, Bergen County started as a dishwasher at a clam shack in Provincetown, Massachusetts and went on to become the head chef in the Rainbow Room and Les Halles. He became famous with “Kitchen Confidential,” his no-holds-barred portrait of a chef’s life, before making the popular television programs “No Reservation” and “Parts Unknown.”
“There’s no question that Anthony’s road to fame was not an easy one,” said Assemblyman Paul Moriarty (D-Camden/Gloucester), one of the measure’s sponsors. But, he noted, “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.”
“Not only will designating a food trail in Anthony Bourdain’s honor commemorate the love he always expressed for his home state … but it will also bring increased awareness to the plight of those with depression and other mental health issues,” said Assemblywoman Angela McKnight (D-Hudson). Bourdain died last June by suicide.
The 10 dining places Bourdain visited for “Parts Unknown” in 2015 and that are to feature on the food trail are: Kubel’s in Barnegat Light; Hiram’s Roadstand in Fort Lee; Knife and Fork in Atlantic City; Dock’s Oyster House in Atlantic City; Tony’s Baltimore Grill in Atlantic City; Tony and Ruth Steaks in Camden; Donkey’s Place in Camden; Lucille’s Country Cooking in Barnegat; Frank’s Deli in Asbury Park and James’ Salt Water Taffy in Atlantic City.