Editor's Note: In 2016, Anthony Bourdain visited Senegal and spoke with NPR's Africa correspondent Ofeibea Quist-Arcton. Their meal and conversation were filmed for his travel-food show Parts Unknown on CNN. With the news of Bourdain's death, we wanted to revisit our interview with Quist-Arcton about that day.
Anthony Bourdain and Ofeibea Quist-Arcton had breakfast at Marche Kermel — a popular market in the heart of Dakar selling fruits, vegetables, herbs, seafood and meat.
He was clearly impressed with the food, Quist-Arcton recalls: "He loved the Senegalese fruit juices and the lakh we ate. But he seemed even more interested in eating and drinking in the history, the culture, the people, everything about Senegal — and especially its harmony and tolerance."
He described the country as "enchanting." And he noted that Senegal has managed to avoid the coups, civil wars and dictatorships that have blighted many of its neighbors. And that even though Senegal is a majority Muslim nation, its people elected a Catholic as its first president after independence from France in 1960. He said Senegal is one of those places that "leads you to believe maybe there is hope in the world."
"I liked his curiosity, his openness, his passion, his compassion, his interest and his intellect," says Quist-Arcton. "He seemed to love people — and good food."