Anthony Bourdain was a renowned chef and world traveler. He was also well known for speaking his mind and calling things as he saw them. In his 2001 travelogue/memoir A Cook’s Tour, Bourdain visited Cambodia. After viewing — first-hand — the long-term devastation the country suffered as a result of illegal military directives orchestrated by Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Bourdain said:
“Once you’ve been to Cambodia, you’ll never stop wanting to beat Henry Kissinger to death with your bare hands. You will never again be able to open a newspaper and read about that treacherous, prevaricating, murderous scumbag sitting down for a nice chat with (former television host) Charlie Rose or attending some black-tie affair for a new glossy magazine without choking.”
“Witness what Henry Kissinger did in Cambodia — the fruits of his genius for statesmanship — and you will never understand why he’s not sitting in the dock at The Hague next to (former Yugoslav and Serbian president Slobodan) Milošević. While Henry continues to nibble nori rolls and remaki at A-list parties, Cambodia, the neutral nation he secretly and illegally bombed, invaded, undermined, and then threw to the dogs, is still trying to raise itself up on its one remaining leg.”
In a 2018, shortly before his shocking suicide, the always-outspoken Bourdain said:
“Frequently, I’ve come to regret things I’ve said. This, from 2001, is not one of those times.”
In the same interview, when asked about his animosity towards — and later reconciliation with — fellow chef Emeril Lagasse, Bourdain said:
“Emeril didn’t bomb Cambodia.”
Henry Kissinger died on November 29, 2023 at the age of 100.