How Anthony Bourdain helped a Flushing family food stall become a New York noodle empire

Xi'an Famous Foods will donate 100% of Friday's net sales to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

The tragic news of Anthony Bourdain's death by suicide stunned fans and colleagues of the internationally renown chef, television personality and world traveler, with a deluge of tributes to his unique life, career and legacy pouring out Friday across social media and beyond.

One such remembrance came from Jason Wang, CEO of New York City noodle chain Xi'an Famous Foods, who shared about the time Bourdain visited and ate at his family's tiny basement food stall in Flushing for Travel Channel's No Reservations in 2007. The endorsement lit a spotlight that helped propel Xi'an from a small noodle stand to a popular restaurant mini-empire boasting a dozen locations and counting.

Wang was still a college student at the time (and no idea who Bourdain was). But years later, he had the opportunity to tell Bourdain how that visit to his family's restaurant had changed their lives.

On Friday, June 8, in honor of Anthony Bourdain's memory, Xi'an Famous Foods will be donating 100 percent of all net sales to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Here's Wang's tribute, shared on social media:

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 today, Friday, June 8, 2018, from all of our stores, to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline '1-800-273-TALK (8255)'. 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

If you or anyone you know is contemplating suicide, there is hope. And there is help. You are not alone. Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

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