New York restaurant Xi’an Famous Foods raises $73K for suicide prevention in memory of Anthony Bourdain

A hell of a lot of spicy cumin lamb hand pulled noodles.

June 12, 2018

Last Friday morning, the world woke up to the gutting news that dearly loved chef and television personality Anthony Bourdain took his life at 61. Over the weekend, friends, colleagues and fans paid honor to the No Reservations host with a number of emotional tributes, including one outside of Bourdain's former restaurant Brasserie Les Halles.

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One particularly noteworthy gesture came from Xi'an Famous Foods, a New York staple with 12 locations across the city. Back when Bourdain visited, operations ran considerably smaller, with just one basement stall in Flushing, Queens. In an affecting note (which you can read in full below), CEO Jason Wang wrote "he may have no idea what he has done for our family and business by simply saying he enjoyed the food."

He then announced that Xi'an would donate 100% of its net sales that Friday to the National Suicide Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK. Bourdain fans proceeded to show up. Wang has shared that the locations raised a combined $73,509.76 toward the cause on Friday. Eater reports that the Greenpoint location nearly ran out of food. That's a hell of a lot of spicy cumin lamb hand pulled noodles— and quite a fitting tribute to the empathetic connoisseur. Read Wang's full note below.

Today's a day of extreme sadness for us here at Xi'an Famous Foods. I've lost a dear friend today, and we mourn with the rest of the world. I remember the time in 2007 when Tony first visited our basement food stall in Flushing for Travel Channel's No Reservations while I was still in college (even though I didn't know who he was at the time). I remember my father preparing interesting off-menu dishes to get his opinion on when he visited our store. I remember years later in 2015 after interviewing together for an article, I approached Tony and told him, while he may have no idea what he has done for our family and business by simply saying he enjoyed the food, I wanted him to know it helped bring our family out from living in one room in Flushing to living the American dream. We were able to grow our business and provide great food for our guests, and opportunities for our employees. I looked at him in the eyes and said, this is something we will always be thankful for, Tony. And he simply replied, "I'm just calling out good food like it is, that's all." In honor of his memory and all of those dear people who left us all too early, and in taking whatever action we can to prevent suicide in the US, Xi'an Famous Foods will be donating 100% of our net sales on June 8, 2018, from all of our stores, to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK @800273talk. Please cherish all of our lives and help those who may be struggling. Rest in peace, Tony, and the most sincere condolences to Tony's beloved family. ~Jason Wang, CEO ... [UPDATE 6/11/18: With your heartfelt support, along with the hard work of our store staff, we were able to serve almost double the amount of dishes as usual during dinner on Friday 6/8/18, with some stores selling out of items towards the end of the night. We were able to raise $73,509.76 (net sales) to donate to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline '1-800-273-TALK (8255)' to help their work in suicide prevention. Thank you for helping us with this tribute to our friend.]

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New York restaurant Xi’an Famous Foods raises $73K for suicide prevention in memory of Anthony Bourdain