HOUSTON (FOX 26) - As communities throughout the world mourn the death of Anthony Bourdain, the owners and managers of Houston restaurants and businesses visited by the celebrity chef and CNN show host are remembering the 61-year-old author's legacy.
Bourdain was found dead inside his hotel room in France, where he was filming for his show "Parts Unknown."
Ever since Bourdain and his crew filmed the famous opening scene at Keemat Grocers in a 2016 episode of "Parts Unknown, store manager Kaushal Mehta said business has been booming and the clientele has diversified.
Keemat Grocers is a small grocery store located on Hillcroft Avenue in southwest Houston that sells imported foods from India.
"People come and say, 'Oh, your store was on the Anthony Bourdain show!' So I say, 'Yeah!,'" described Mehta.
"We're like an Indian customer core business," added Mehta. "But since the show, we have seen more different groups of people coming in also. Customers that wouldn't usually shop here. Who would have imagined you know, a celebrity like him, came here and to try the stuff that we sell? It's unimaginable."
Bourdain aimed to capture the colorful and diverse essence of the Bayou City by meeting everyday people and visiting hidden neighborhood gems.
FOX 26 News segment contributor Cleverley Stone has met Bourdain several times during his visits to Houston.
"It was a premeditated decision on his part to not go to the big, fancy restaurants that send out press releases every week about what they're doing," explained Stone. "He went to what we affectionately call the 'holes in the wall.'"
It was evident that Bourdain never particularly cared for places because of their glamour, price or hype, but rather, chose places like Burns BBQ, a family-owned spot in in the Acres Homes neighborhood of north Houston.
"We've been here for 35-plus years," restaurant owner Gary Burns. "It's an honor. For him to put in that sort of impact and coming out and sharing it with the rest of the world like that. Because of that, people are coming around now, people from all over the country, just to taste the barbecue."
No matter where he went, Bourdain will always be remembered as a humble and charismatic man that changed the world by bringing "Parts Unknown" from cities all across the globe, including Houston, to worldwide popularity and acceptance.
"I cannot digest it," said Kaiser Lashkari, the owner of Himalaya, one of the restaurants Bourdain featured in the 2016 Houston episode of "Parts Unknown." "He was so full of life, such zest for life. It's not possible. I just cannot understand it. It's hard to understand."
"I'm still wondering what could've been on his mind," added Burns. "Maybe if someone was there to talk to him, it could've been different."
"Oh my god, what happened?," asked Mehta. "He was like full of life. The age of 61, he was traveling
all around the world, suddenly this thing happens. It's sad."