He had a love for Latin culture that went beyond food.
While exploring the world was a huge part of his work, he also used his platform and his reach to be a voice for the voiceless, particularly for Latinos in the United States who worked in the food industry.
His death is a major loss to the Latino community in the United States.
His deep love for Mexican food isn't the only thing that brought him close to Latinos. He also cares about the people. He has often been outspoken about the unfair treatment of immigrant restaurant workers, who he said are the "backbone of the food industry."
Anthony credited Latinos for helping him in his career.
Anthony began his career as a dishwasher, and has shared how knowledgeable and helpful Latinos were in the restaurants when he started working. “I walked into restaurants and the person always who’d been there the longest, who took the time to show me how it was done, was always Mexican or Central American,” he once said.
He also often included Latino-owned restaurants in his shows.
For Parts Unknown, he visited food trucks in his hometown of Queens, New York and dedicated the entire May 2017 episode of the show to discuss the importance of immigrants in our workforce.
Anthony desperately wanted Latinos to get the recognition they deserve.
While talking to the Houston Press he revealed that he believed the people in the back of restaurant kitchens deserve the awards and accolades the chefs often receive. “What frustrates me, of course, is that I would like--whatever the opinion, there's plenty of room for honest disagreement on immigration--I would like to see very much the people who are cooking and have been cooking in America and doing the large majority of the work in the service industry,” he said at the time. “Let's at least acknowledge that work. It's an integral, invaluable part of that profession and of that industry. That would make me happy. If they got a James Beard Award, you know, if the James Beard people acknowledged that Mexicans exist, that would be nice!”
Rest in peace, Anthony.