Anthony Bourdain, celebrated chef, author, and television star, has died. CNN confirmed Bourdain took his own life on Friday.
Bourdain was in France filming for his hit TV series, Parts Unknown, when fellow chef and friend, Eric Ripert, who has appeared in several episodes of Bourdain’s shows, discovered his friend in Bourdain’s hotel room.
Bourdain is a legend in the food, drink, and travel worlds. He rose up as a chef while battling addiction and kitchen life in Massachusetts, then New York in the 1970s and ‘80s. He wrote memoirs, such as “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly” and “The Nasty Bits,” and a famously hard-hitting article for the New Yorker. Most recently, he transformed major news network, CNN, into one that shows the world a new way to approach coverage of countries and cultures.
For those of us who have laughed at his books, followed his journeys with No Reservations, and been moved to tears—and travel plans—from the cinematic episodes of Parts Unknown, this comes as a devastating shock.
Many food, drink, and travel writers have been inspired and moved by Bourdain’s approach to these subjects, which made them more approachable and accessible. He taught us to explore and appreciate our world, our similarities and differences, through the lens of what we eat.
Bourdain described himself as an “enthusiast” — be it of high-end French fare, Vietnamese street food, or the heavily caloric diets of sumo wrestlers in Japan.
“His love of great adventure, new friends, fine food and drink and the remarkable stories of the world made him a unique storyteller,” CNN said in a statement Friday morning.
Bourdain was the best cultural anthropologist of our time. We join the culinary community and world in mourning his untimely death.