Newsletter: Essential California: Anthony Bourdain, remembered

TV host and author Anthony Bourdain.
(Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images)
Share via

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It is Saturday, June 9. Here’s what you don’t want to miss this weekend:


Anthony Bourdain, the celebrity chef, author and TV host who traveled the world to explore the nexus of food and culture, died Friday in an apparent suicide, according to CNN. He was 61. Bourdain brought to the table a relatability and innate curiosity about the world, a quality he called “my only virtue.” His legions of fans benefited; through his writing and his many television and online shows, Bourdain transcended mere food celebrity to become an adept storyteller who weaved together tales on cuisine, culture and the connections between them. Los Angeles Times

From In-N-Out to Chateau Marmont, Bourdain understood what makes L.A. great. Los Angeles Times


—Here’s the article that launched Bourdain out of the kitchen. The New Yorker

— For Bourdain, food was just the entry point for a much wider cultural discussion. Los Angeles Times

— He was also the eternal compadre of overlooked Latinos, writes columnist Gustavo Arellano. Los Angeles Times

— And restaurant critic Jonathan Gold explains that Bourdain opened the working-class kitchen to the world and the world to us. Los Angeles Times

Shifting winds

President Trump said he likely will support a congressional effort to end the federal ban on marijuana, a major step that would reshape the pot industry and end the threat of a Justice Department crackdown. Trump’s remarks put him sharply at odds with Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions on the issue. The bill in question, pushed by a bipartisan coalition, would allow states to go forward with legalization unencumbered by threats of federal prosecution. Los Angeles Times


Helping out

Heidi Roberts and John Betz are seasoned real estate investors and homeless advocates. They’re collaborating with a shared housing nonprofit to place 28 homeless people in a new South L.A. apartment building with no rent subsidies. Los Angeles Times


Cutting ties: Walt Disney Co. is ending its relationship with John Lasseter, the chief creative officer of Pixar and Disney Animation Studios, after allegations that he engaged in inappropriate workplace behavior. Los Angeles Times

Fires’ origins: Downed power lines owned by PG&E and falling tree limbs were largely responsible for setting off the deadly siege of fires that ripped through Northern California’s wine country in October, Cal Fire investigators said Friday. Los Angeles Times

Dynasty: With their third championship in four years, the Golden State Warriors, “the league’s biggest laughingstock not so long ago, have entered the NBA history books as one of the greatest teams of all time.” SFGate


Final budget for Jerry: Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders agreed to a new state budget for next year, they announced in a joint statement Friday morning. Los Angeles Times

Speaking up: The estranged wife of the Golden State Killer suspect asked for privacy for her family and offered prayers for the victims of the series of rapes and killings he is accused of committing. Los Angeles Times

On the calendar: Students at USC will hold a march on campus Saturday to provide resources to possible victims of a former university gynecologist accused of rampant sexual misconduct and to call for the firing of any campus officials who were complicit in his alleged misdeeds. Los Angeles Times

Fun in the sun: A giant pendulum, an immersive panda show and a gut-twisting coaster: Theme parks are spending big to lure summer visitors. Los Angeles Times

Bye-bye, Bay Area: Leavin’ on that midnight train to Georgia ... because a Bay Area house is simply out of reach. Los Angeles TImes

Allegations denied: A retired Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department lieutenant has pleaded not guilty to charges of tipping off a West Hollywood massage parlor about potential raids “in exchange for sexual favors or other gifts,” according to a criminal complaint made public Friday. Los Angeles Times


Ooof: Democratic state Sen. Kevin de León has represented part of Los Angeles in Sacramento for more than a decade, but he failed to secure a majority of votes on his home turf in the U.S. Senate primary this week. Los Angeles Times

Growing clout: California Sen. Kamala Harris wasn’t on the ballot this week in her home state, but she still notched a significant set of victories.” Politico

Getting organized: “With no Bay Area Democrats facing serious challenges from Republicans, Brian Monahan and a group of fellow technology and marketing executives have decided to look farther afield for candidates in swing districts that need financial support.” Reuters

The effects: How Trump’s trade war is hurting California’s largest agricultural sector. Sacramento Bee

Fun trips: Check out these vintage California hotels where the Gold Rush and early California dreams live on. Los Angeles Times

Fun this weekend: The Los Angeles Design Festival returns this weekend, offering up a wide-ranging slate of art- and design-focused events that aim to highlight the city’s growing design scene. The Architect’s Newspaper


Get the Essential California newsletter »

Car enthusiast Adam Carolla has collected 10 of Paul Newman’s racing cars, including this 1987 Nissan 300ZX.
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times )


1. Where California would head if Gavin Newsom becomes governor. Sacramento Bee

2. As California’s largest lake dries up, it threatens nearby communities with clouds of toxic dust. The Verge

3. Many people work hard to avoid the homeless. These volunteers embrace them. Los Angeles Times


4. Disneyland will put new limits on park visits for some annual pass holders. Los Angeles Daily News

5. It’s Newsom vs. John Cox in November as Antonio Villaraigosa tumbles in the governor’s race. Los Angeles Times


Look at those cars! Adam Carolla is a comedian, carpenter, podcaster, filmmaker, bestselling author, race car driver and entrepreneur. He also owns more cars raced by the late actor-driver Paul Newman than anyone else. That part was an accident. Carolla never set out to be the “Paul Newman collector car guy.” Los Angeles Times

A solution to the crisis? “California is in the middle of an affordable-housing crisis that cities across the state are struggling to solve. Rick Holliday, a longtime Bay Area real estate developer, thinks one answer lies in an old shipyard in Vallejo, about 40 minutes northeast of San Francisco. Here, in a football-field-sized warehouse where workers used to make submarines, Mr. Holliday recently opened Factory OS, a factory that manufactures homes.” New York Times

Taking stock: Here’s how the big bet that Latino voters in Southern California would change the Democratic Party here has failed. The New Yorker


Some reform: How do we detoxify California’s poison tap water? More democracy. Los Angeles Times

Please let us know what we can do to make this newsletter more useful to you. Send comments, complaints and ideas to Benjamin Oreskes and Shelby Grad. Also follow them on Twitter @boreskes and @shelbygrad.