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Local restaurant owner pays tribute to Anthony Bourdain

Posted at 11:18 AM, Jun 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-28 14:26:04-04

Local restaurateur, Jerry Alajajian, paid tribute to Anthony Bourdain by commissioning a large mural the late chef on one of the walls of his restaurant.

The mural was created by local artist Marcus Zotter, whose art is already a regular fixture on the walls of 7th Avenue Social. The 7-foot tall mural took Zotter four days to complete. 

“His book 'Kitchen Confidential', I read it. I was amazed at the honest, truthful depiction of the restaurant business; particularly in the kitchen”.

The idea came when Alajajian first heard of the news of Bourdain's passing on June 8th. He's been trying to think of something to add to the chalk wall at the restaurant for a few weeks. The following day, he decided the best thing to do was to pay tribute to the man who had helped inspire his journey through the restaurant business. 

“I said, ‘I believe... I think I feel strongly about what we should put up there'.”

He told Marcus Zotter after the two discussed ideas for what possible artwork would go up in the restaurant. Zotter had presented a few ideas for a mural. Bourdain's sudden death and prior influence on Alajajian caused a change in direction.

“I love to do these black and white portraits or subject with like a splash of color in the background”, Zotter told Fox 4. 

At his Naples studio, Zotter showed Four in Your Corner how he translated the piece from a small drawing a large painting taking up an entire wall inside the Naples eatery. 

“Everything starts as a sketch”, he said.

Zotter and Alajajian started off with a picture of Bourdain and began to sketch quotes and images of food around it on paper to get and idea of what the mural would look like. Zotter drew a larger version on the original sketch with chalk and eventually filled that in with acrylic paint.

“Crab on one side, steaks on another; and then yeah I just tried to get and even balance of fruits and vegetables.”

Alajajian says the finished product was better than he anticipated when he first sat down with Zotter to create the mural. When asked, he told Four in Your Corner that he didn't have any plans to take it down any time soon.

“We'll keep it up there one day at a time. One beautiful day at a time, we'll keep it up there.”