Anthony Bourdain, a proud New Jersey native, grew up in Leonia in Bergen County. In 2015, the star chef visited 10 restaurants in the state as part of an episode of CNN’s Part’s Unknown. Now, Bourdain, who took his own life last June, will be honored by the state with his own food trail.
The official Anthony Bourdain Food Trail will be based on the same route that the chef took during the episode with restaurants ranging from Fort Lee to Atlantic City. The food trail was proposed by New Jersey Assemblyman Paul Moriarty (D-Gloucester) last June, two weeks after Bourdain’s passing, and state legislators have recently approved the measure.
Buckle up for a road trip honoring the late chef. https://t.co/AnVsCJSvfU— Food & Wine (@foodandwine) February 23, 2019
Camden’s Donkey’s Place, one of the stops on the trail, was hailed by Bourdain for its cheesesteak, which he said was on par with the best Philly cheesesteaks. Other stops include Kubel’s in Barnegat Light, where the chef ordered clams and beer, and the legendary Frank’s Deli in Asbury Park, where he had a "classic Jersey sandwich with layers of sliced ham, provolone, tomato, onions, shredded lettuce, roasted peppers, oil, and vinegar.”
Bourdain was renowned not only for his culinary talent but also for his down-to-earth persona. A world traveler, he enjoyed mingling with locals as much as trying regional specialties. His visit to New Jersey didn’t focus on the usual tourist attractions, but rather sought out local gems. Though an official date has not been set for the launch of the trail, it is expected to be announced soon.
Moriarty told NJ Advance Media that New Jersey had not only lost a superb chef “but a chef for the people” as well as a great writer. He added that the date for the official launch will be decided by the state Division of Travel and Tourism.
The bill states that “given Bourdain’s love of his native State and his prominence as one of New Jersey’s best known chefs, it is appropriate to remember and honor Bourdain by establishing a suitable tribute to him and the great foods he loved in New Jersey.”
Of course, foodies are welcome to explore the route on their own. The sites visited by Bourdain include the following:
Dock’s Oyster House in Atlantic City, Donkey’s Place in Camden, Frank’s Deli in Asbury Park, Hiram’s Roadstand in Fort Lee, James’ Salt Water Taffy in Atlantic City, Knife & Fork in Atlantic City, Kubel’s in Barnegat Light, Lucille’s Country Cooking in Barnegat, Tony’s Baltimore Grill in Atlantic City and Tony and Ruth Steaks in Camden.