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Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain dies, suicide suspected

Source: PTI
June 08, 2018 20:57 IST
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IMAGE: Chef Anthony Bourdain poses at the 2015 Creative Arts Emmy Awards in Los Angeles in 2015. Photograph: Danny Moloshok/Reuters

Renowned chef, food critic and writer Anthony Bourdain has died of a suspected suicide. He was 61.

Bourdain, best known for his CNN series 'Parts Unknown', was in Strasbourg, France, to shoot for the new season of the show, reported the network.

'It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain,' CNN 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.'


The TV personality's friend, French chef, Eric Ripert, found him unresponsive in his hotel room on Friday morning.

'Tony was an exceptional talent. Tony will be greatly missed not only for his work but also for the passion with which he did it,' CNN President Jeff Zucker said in an email to employees.

Bourdain became popular with his best-selling book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, which was an expose on the world of haute cuisine.

He began his television journey in 2002 with 'A Cook's Tour' on the Food Network.

In 2005 he joined the Travel Channel with 'Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations'. He picked up two Emmy Awards for the series.

Bourdain joined CNN in 2013 with a new travel and food series 'Parts Unknown', which is currently in its 11th season. The same year, Peabody Award judges honoured Bourdain and the series for 'expanding our palates and horizons in equal measure'.

"He's irreverent, honest, curious, never condescending, never obsequious. People open up to him and, in doing so, often reveal more about their hometowns or homelands than a traditional reporter could hope to document," the judges said.

He also served as a narrator and executive producer for PBS series "The Mind of a Chef" and frequently appeared as a guest judge on 'Top Chef'.

Bourdain was also a favourite of former US President, Barack Obama. In 2015, when Obama visited Vietnam, he met Bourdain for a special meal and also appeared on one of the episodes of 'Parts Unknown'.

Bourdain was married twice, firstly to his high-school sweetheart Nancy Putkoski in 1985. They divorced after 20 years.

Two years later he married mixed martial artiste Ottavia Busia and they had a daughter, Ariane, born in 2007. He blamed the split partly on his constant travel for work.

Last year he was romantically linked with Italian actress Asia Argento.

Soon after the news of his death broke, tributes started pouring in on social media.

CNN political commentator Keith Boykin, said: "So sorry to learn of Anthony Bourdain's death. He was an inspiration to me as a broadcaster, an athlete, and a citizen of the world. Just two days ago, I was telling a friend how Bourdain's example inspired me to return to MMA training."

Actor Busy Philipps said she was 'truly devastated' and called for people in need of help to 'reach out'.

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay said he was "stunned" by the news and shared the number of suicide prevention helplines.

'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,' he tweeted.

'This is utterly heartbreaking. Thank you for opening our eyes to parts of the world both cherished and unknown. What a legacy. Sending peace and love to his family,' singer-songwriter Mandy Moore posted.

Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston wrote, 'According to American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, there are nearly 45,000 suicides every year in the US. Shocking. I was saddened to hear of the deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. RIP. It illustrates that success is not immune to depression. We all need to be more aware of our friends who are suffering.' 

'Anthony Bourdain committed suicide. I feel sick to my stomach. He inspired me to travel the world and get over my fear of flying. I was lucky enough to meet him on one of my flights. I can't breathe,' actor-writer Andy Milonakis said.

Megyn Kelly tweeted, 'Incredibly sad news about Anthony Bourdain. Sending such love to his family, including his CNN family, who must be hurting terribly today. If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, please remember, help is right here: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255.'

Film and television director, Lexi Alexander, tweeted, 'RIP Anthony Bourdain. Friend of Palestine. Great ally to women. This is an unbelievable loss.'

American political activist Linda Sarsour wrote, 'Kate Spade and now Anthony Bourdain? How many people around us, in our families, in our workplaces, in our movements are struggling so much they would take their own lives and we are not paying attention? Look after one another. Love. Be kind. Be gentle.'

Celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver, said, '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.'

Model Chrissy Teigen, posted, 'Anthony. One of my idols. Unapologetic, passionate and one of the best storytellers on the planet. Thank you for making food so exciting. And always standing up for everything right. Horrible. Why why why. Be at peace now.'

Indian celebrities also paid tributes to the celebrated food critic and writer.

Pooja Bhatt said, 'Shattered to hear that Anthony Bourdain is no more... don't take people in your life for granted. Listen more... love more... it's a short existence. Somehow RIP doesn't quite cut it this time round. Hope he continues to be the fire-starter he was wherever in the Universe he is.'

'Shocked to hear about @Bourdain! #KateSpade and now #AnthonyBourdain. My father and I have visited his office in NYC. Lots of warmth from his team. Extremely sad to hear the news. Was a huge fan,' Dulquer Salmaan.

Food writer-journalist Vir Sanghvi tweeted, 'RIP Anthony Bpurdain who transformed the image of chefs with Kitchen Confidential and then re-invented the food show on TV. A great loss to the food world . But his legacy lives on.'

Quoting Bourdain, actor Tillotama Shome wrote, ''Context and memory play powerful roles in all the truly great meals in one's life': Anthony Bourdain. I wish you safe passage to the next adventure.'

Food and travel show hosts Rocky and Mayur tweeted, 'RIP @Bourdain Anthony Bourdain. May there be a 27-course meal awaiting you at the Parts Unknown you're heading for.'

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