Celebrity chef, presenter and writer Anthony Bourdain, best known for his food / travel series Parts Unknown, has died aged 61.
CNN, where he produced much of his work, confirmed his death last night and said the cause was suicide. He was in France working on an upcoming episode of Parts Unknown. His close friend Eric Ripert, the French chef, found Bourdain unresponsive in his hotel room on Friday morning.
“It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain,” the network said in a statement. “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.”
“Tony was an exceptional talent,” CNN President Jeff Zucker said in an email to employees. “Tony will be greatly missed not only for his work but also for the passion with which he did it.”
Bourdain shared his love of food through travel, or possibly the reverse, exploring the human condition and helped audiences think differently about food, travel and themselves. He advocated for marginalised populations and campaigned for safer working conditions for restaurant staffs.
He first hosted A Cook’s Tour on the Food Network, then moved to the Travel Channel for Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations , earning two Emmy Awards and more than a dozen nominations.
In 2013 he joined CNN with Parts Unknown. He judged alongside Nigella Lawson on the short-lived The Taste, appeared in The Simpsons and even wrote 2 episodes of David Simon’s TV drama Treme.
In Australia his titles have aired on CNN, Discovery, SBS, Food Network, & ABC2.
While accepting a Peabody award in 2013, Bourdain described how he approached 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,” he said, “we tend to get some really astonishing answers.”
On social media celebrities mourned his loss:
Asia Argento: “Anthony gave all of himself in everything he did. His brilliant, fearless spirit touched and inspired so many, and his generosity knew no bounds. He was my love, my rock, my protector. I am beyond devastated. My thoughts are with his family. I would ask that you respect their privacy and mine.”
Gordon Ramsay: Stunned and saddened by the loss of Anthony Bourdain. He brought the world into our homes and inspired so many people to explore cultures and cities through their food. Remember that help is a phone call away US:1-800-273-TALK UK: 116 123
Nigella Lawson: Heartbroken to hear about Tony Bourdain’s death. Unbearable for his family and girlfriend. Am going off twitter for a while
Jamie Oliver: I have to say I’m in total shock to hear that the amazing @Bourdain has just died 💔 he really broke the mould, pushed the culinary conversation, Rest in peace chef 👨🍳 🙏 thoughts and love to all his family and close friends xxxxxxxxxxx
Neil deGrasse Tyson: A friend of @StarTalkRadio. A friend of Food & Culture. A friend to us all. Anthony Bourdain, RIP. (1956-2018).
Mia Farrow: Maybe we all wanted to hang out with him. He was that cool, fun, frank, insightful. He introduced us to distant lands and to people with different traditions. And without ever preaching, he reminded us that we humans are far more alike than different. Thank you Anthony Bourdain
Ryan Seacrest: We have lost one of the greatest storytellers in the world Anthony Bourdain. He took us around the world sharing food culture and mostly the connection between people. He will be missed.
Adam Liaw: Unbelievably tragic. Speechless.