In August 2016, Starbright Floral Design in New York City sponsored a fundraiser for RED, a charity founded by pop singer Bono to eradicate AIDS, which included five courses prepared by five celebrity chefs. Among them: Anthony Bourdain, the storied chef, author, travel documentarian and television personality who took his life on Friday, June 8.
During set up for the event, Starbright president Nic Faitos managed to steal a few minutes of Bourdain’s time, an interaction that has become “a reflective moment” in the wake of the chef’s passing, Faitos said.
Although brief, the conversation had depth.
“Anthony was the same person off camera as he was on,” said Faitos, who shared the memory with customers on Facebook. “He was very friendly, curious and engaging — answering every question with one of his own. He wanted to know about our flowers and how we set up big events. It was a very special moment that I’ll never forget.”
In the days following Bourdain’s death, Faitos passed by the former site of Les Halles, a shuttered French brasserie that he patronized often and provided flowers for. “It had been turned into a memorial site, covered with bouquets, photos and condolence notes,” he said. “I couldn’t believe it — all those years, I never realized it was Anthony Bourdain’s restaurant. He was my client! I wish I had known.”