PH food entrepreneurs grateful to Anthony Bourdain for jumpstarting global fame of Filipino food

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 8) — The owner of the restaurant where celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain declared lechon as the “best pig... ever” wrote a heartfelt post online.

“May you Rest In Peace, Tony. One day with you helped to alter the course of my life and it has provided gainful employment for hundreds of folks at Zubuchon as well as shining the global spotlight on Filipino food,” Joel Binamira wrote on Instagram.

 “We are all so saddened by your passing and so grateful to have crossed paths... Salamat [Thank you],” he added.

In an interview with CNN Philippines’ Newsroom, chef Claude Tayag is grateful to Bourdain for jumpstarting the global fame of Filipino food.“Let’s remember him for what he’s done…for introducing “sisig” to the world,” Tayag said.

His restaurant Bale Dutung [House of Wood] in Angeles City became well-known globally after being featured on Bourdain’s show, “No Reservations” in 2008.

“I’m very shocked. I did not see this coming from him,” he said. “Although during my last meeting with him sometime April last year here in Manila. He did not look good physically and I thought he would die of natural death. Not this kind of demise.”

READ: Anthony Bourdain: Sisig will 'win the hearts and minds of the world'

Tayag said that he met Bourdain three times on a professional level. “He was brutally frank and at the same time, he was nice in person,” he recalled.

The celebrated storyteller and writer took his own life. He was 61.

READ: CNN's Anthony Bourdain dead at 61

Bourdain was in France working on an upcoming episode of his award-winning CNN series "Parts Unknown."

His close friend Eric Ripert, the French chef, found Bourdain unresponsive in his hotel room Friday morning.

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