10:06 PM I was debating a lot in my head concerning this post. I asked for advice...shall I write this? Does this matter? Well, it kind of matters to me! I decided to not write a standard post with tons of info which might bore you... I am dedicating some words in form of a letter. Something personal. From me to whoever wants to read this.
11 days ago, you took your own life, just like that, out of the blue. 1,5 hours away from my home... it's absurd. I feel bad that I wasn't following you so much as I was when I was little, but know that I admire(d) you. Deeply.
In Germany it was hard catching up with American cooking shows, but I was so happy when I had the opportunity to watch your show "No Reservation" — I didn't even know who you were and what this show was about! I liked it, because you were a blunt soul travelling to the coolest places. I loved sitting in front of the TV and zapping around realizing "oh, there's this dude again who's always cursing and getting wasted somewhere in the deepest Asian jungle or exotic islands." I was impressed and very much amused!
I don't know how many episodes showed him getting wasted or cursing the shit out of the food he was eating from the most suspicious street sellers, but his charming smile and positive character got me. He's silly — I like that!
German cooking shows are so fake and boring, I enjoyed Tony's attitude and a show that doesn't really need a script. He was all about food, people, and good vibes — that's it, and it was enough. I was in love with the places he saw. I was in love with the food he ate. I wanted to go to the same places and be like him! Explore food, just like him!
After a certain time, they didn't show his show anymore, and I forgot a bit more and more about him! Until I started my love affair with NYC! I began travelling a lot and my love for food grew! After writing about fashion and sneakers for years, capturing a scene which is stiff, forced, and less individual, I found romance in food. May it be cooking (I learned it beyond late, after struggling with cooking rice forever), grocery shopping, or testing cool restaurants! When I was away with my sister, we only cared about the best food — we came to eat our ways. The love for food journalism grew more and more inside my heart!
No matter if I'm in NYC, Paris, or Cape Town, I want to explore the culinary side first! Give me what they eat! Let's explore their go-tos at the supermarket! Testing restaurant after restaurant in NYC made me sometimes feel like Tony. I loved it. I can't even put in words how much inspiration I got from this crazy chef — but I am so thankful.
Tony, no one will ever reach your level of greatness and excellent taste. The world needs honest people with a big heart like you. I feel sad that you gave up during the climax of your career, but I'm not judging. Never will. I am disappointed, yes. I told my sister you were a strong dude... how weird that those are the weakest. Your story moved me. We are in so many things alike...I try to push my demons away, you let them win. May this be the best option for you and your soul. I hope you find piece in whatever you are doing now. You will be missed so badly, but I am happy seeing how many people you have inspired during your journey. Thanks for letting me discover this refreshing passion! Something that gives my life a deeper sense! I will never forget you. How?