Flash Fiction Challenge: To Write About Food

The loss of Anthony Bourdain is staggering to me. I’ve said elsewhere, but I feel like Bourdain was the next evolution of Hunter. S. Thompson — a vicious, rigorous truth-teller, but far less performative than Thompson. And ultimately far gentler, in all the best ways. He was authentic and earnest and I’ll miss his voice, his writing, his everything.

He wasn’t just a chef, and he certainly didn’t write only about food, but I think connecting food to stories is one of the things he did, in a bigger, stranger way than you usually find with people. He really understood the cultural connections and ramifications of that.

So, that’s your job today, in honor of Bourdain.

Write a story and let it be about food, but about more than food, too. Connect the food to something larger. Reach. Extend your narrative muscles. Find out how food is about culture, about people, sometimes about safety, other times about transgression. Go big or go small, just go somewhere with it.

Length: ~2000 words

Due by: Friday, June 15th, noon EST

Post at your online space.

Drop a link below so we can read it.


29 responses to “Flash Fiction Challenge: To Write About Food”

  1. Your comparisons to HST are spot on. Two men that influenced me in SO many ways. He’ll be missed. I’m just devastated today. He inspired me all the time. Showed me so much. Great observations here, Chuck. Sad day. Taking my kids to get some authentic ramen today to honor him.

  2. I love your description, Chuck. I feel like I’ve been hit by a body blow, this on a day when we in Ontario woke to the news that Donald Trump Lite had been elected Premier. Anybody out there remember Toronto’s lunatic mayor, Rob Ford? Well this guy is his brother.

    I loved how Anthony peeled back the societal layers as he and his companions made their way through whatever food they were eating. We are less for the loss of his voice.

    • For some reason, I’m unable to comment directly on your blog. I agree–writers have to read. I’m not a foodie and don’t watch cooking shows (even though I love to cook), so it’s interesting for me to read how you tied together writing and cooking.

    • I loved reading this. The stories about the sticky buns and Nan Parker’s honeyed carrots were my favorite. I could feel the comfort feelings in this piece of work. Great job.

      • Aaaww the sticky cornflake biscuits… yeah … my dentist told me when I was going through my teen years and into my 20’s that they were the main cause of my cavities – not lollies of soft drinks/sodas – my Grandma’s baking. 😀 That was until I brought in some of those biscuits for him and he realised why I loved them so much. 😛

        And I think we all have a relative like my Nan who thinks because you leave something on the plate, you hate it – but nope, that’s just not the case. 🙂 There was a food poisoning case when I was 15, but I wanted to talk about how much I love food, not the food I don’t like. 🙂

  3. Too much loss, this year; this is almost as big as losing my dad. I cook because Bourdain challenged me to, with every revelation about how humans – all humans – connect to, and through, the food they prepare and eat and share. He confirmed for me over and over again the universality of humanity, for all our differences – and that those differences were for celebrating, not despising or fearing.

    Good Christ but we lost a necessary voice. I’m gutted.

    I’ll try to scribble something for this one. I keep meaning to take up the challenges and I keep just… not… doing it. I’ll try for this one, though.

  4. I just found this post now and had an absolute ball writing about a zombie who misses food. Like, not-brains food. Which is never something I thought about before but damn it’s fun

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