Rolling Stone



THE EPITOME of the celebrity chef as culinary rock star, Anthony Bourdain gave off a seen-it-all, snortedsho­t-and-survived-it-all vibe — a New Yorker forged in the fires of five-star restaurant­s whose Zen-punk personalit­y helped turn his book Kitchen Confidenti­al into a bestseller. Beneath the author/TVshow host’s brash exterior, however, was a sensitive introvert, a doting father and a die-hard romantic who harbored a lot of doubt.

That’s the Bourdain that Morgan Neville’s documentar­y is interested in focusing on, as opposed to the larger-than-life character who ate cobra hearts for the camera and played taste-test tour guide on travel series like Parts Unknown. You get a great sense of who he was via recollecti­ons from his producers, peers, family, and friends, though you wish the movie dug deeper into his prefame years. (Bourdain’s brother Christophe­r provides anecdotes, but his early life still feels like a question mark.) Speculatio­n regarding his self-destructio­n is thankfully AWOL; the pain of his loss still feels like an open wound to many of the interviewe­es here. They’ve come to praise Bourdain, not to bury him, yet Roadrunner is still a portrait of an artist who took on the burden of being a beacon and, somewhere along the way, lost sight of the light himself.

 ??  ?? Bourdain goes in for a bite during one of his many farflung journeys.
Bourdain goes in for a bite during one of his many farflung journeys.

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