Remembering the Time Anthony Bourdain Ate With Barack Obama in Vietnam

Beloved chef and storyteller Anthony Bourdain was found dead in his French hotel room on Friday, June 8, 2018. Officials have ruled the cause of death to be suicide. He was 61 years old.

To honor his memory, let’s remember the time he ate with one of his most distinguished guests in one of the most unassuming restaurants.



Bourdain, host of the CNN series “Parts Unknown”, found himself sharing a beer at a hole in the wall joint in Vietnam with President Barack Obama.

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Bourdain, who frequently travelled around the world for the most epic food adventures, met with Obama while he was on an Asia trip for an interview in Hanoi over a bun cha dinner of grilled pork and noodles and a cold beer.

The photos, which omit the U.S. Secret Service that probably surrounded the building while Obama ate, show the CNN host and one of the most powerful men in the world eating a modest meal on plastic chairs while the other customers don’t even seem to notice the two.

spokesperson for CNN said of the meeting:

“Bourdain will explore the purpose of the President’s trip and his interest in the people, food and culture of Vietnam.”

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The bill for the meal came to a whopping $6.00 — Bourdain picked up the check on this one.

In an Instagram post, Bourdain also noted that “the President’s chopstick skills are on point.”

Obama’s visit to Vietnam also served to bolster relations with the growing country. On this trip, Obama announced that the U.S. will lift a half-century arms embargo on Vietnam and embrace a future with the young yet one-party nation often criticized for its harsh treatment of dissidents.

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Obama’s interview with Bourdain aired during the eighth season of “Parts Unknown.”

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