He was a blunt and brash representative of the culinary world
Anthony Bourdain died on Friday at 61, CNN reported. The celebrated personality, chef, host and author was working on an episode of his CNN travel show “Parts Unknown” in Strasbourg, France. The cause of death was an apparent suicide. He was found by French chef Eric Ripert, who was a close friend.
"It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain," CNN said in a statement Friday morning. "His love of great adventure, new friends, fine food and drink, and the remarkable stories of the world made him a unique storyteller. His talents never ceased to amaze us, and we will miss him very much. Our thoughts and prayers are with his daughter and family at this incredibly difficult time."
Bourdain started his career in New York City’s fine-dining restaurants, including years at Les Halles, but he first gained mainstream popularity and notoriety with “Kitchen Confidential.” The book described in vivid detail the inner workings of high-end kitchens. Readers took away an understanding of what life was like in the often lurid and drug-filled world, and why they should never order fish on a Monday.
The memoir propelled Bourdain into celebrity chef status and solidified his reputation as a blunt and brash representative of the culinary world.
In recent years, his work focused on exploring the world and eating everything on offer as he took viewers to familiar and unfamiliar locations and tried the regional delicacies for “Parts Unknown.” His previous series included "No Reservations” on the Travel Channel and “A Cook's Tour” on the Food Network.
In a New Yorker profile of Bourdain last year, the host characterized his duties in his signature style: “I travel around the world, eat a lot of shit, and basically do whatever the fuck I want.”
But while accepting a Peabody award for his work on "Parts Unknown" in 2013, Bourdain described a more thoughtful and serious approach to his work.
"We ask very simple questions: what makes you happy? What do you eat? What do you like to cook? And everywhere in the world we go and ask these very simple questions, we tend to get some really astonishing answers."
Through his shows, numerous books and speaking engagements, Bourdain kept his unique style of radical candor with his unfiltered attacks on vegans, Alice Waters and culinary schools, to name a few. In recent months, he became an outspoken advocate for the #MeToo movement after girlfriend, Italian actress Asia Argento, came forward as a victim of Harvey Weinstein.
If you or anyone you know is considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.