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It's been a rough week for both the hospitality and the fashion worlds. Two pioneers in their respective industries lost, leaving the nation mourning and shocked. Anthony Bourdain was one of the first voices to get me interested in food and booze. I read Kitchen Confidential after senior year in high school and it probably changed the trajectory of my life more than any single source. I still believe strongly in values of "Système D" as described in The Nasty Bits. Not that I necessarily envied the grueling, greasy world behind those swinging shiny kitchen doors, but because it gave me the confidence to consider with world of food, wine, and whisky an actual career.

This man and legendary drinker is one the most integral influences in the dramatic opening of American culture to the wide wide world of food over the last two decades. Always fighting for the underdog and attacking many of the most powerful elements in his industry and others, one thing he proved was that speaking truth to power could be meaningful. His biting style -intelligent, irreverent, sardonic, yet undeniably just- will remain a timeless source of power for the underdog in this industry. The revelation that life can be about sensual experience, hedonism over egoism, without diminishing one's commitment to what's right and good in the world will be the legacy that I cling to always.  

Even with that commitment to pleasure, experience, and love - life is still filled with pain. And today we are all hurting, but we can't let pain win. If you're feeling like it's all too much -please talk. Tell your friends or your parents. Likewise, if you think a friend or family member seems distant or different, don't shrug it off. Stop them, talk to them, be annoying has hell if you have to. Tell them you love them, tell them they matter, tell them that you value them. Tell them that their existence is the source of your joy. Even if they don't want to hear it, repeat it. Nothing breeds belief like repetition. Love wins, love wins, love wins...

-David Othenin-Girard