Anthony Bourdain was found unresponsive in his hotel room in France, on Friday morning. He was working on an upcoming episode of his hit CNN series “Parts Unknown”. He had won four Emmy Awards for the show.
Bourdain was so much more than a celebrity chef. Beyond the passion and the sheer charisma that were apparent in all of his outings and segments of the shows, Bourdain vividly expressed a real love for food and the people who cook. He showed a deep respect for cultures not his own and opened lines of empathy between foreign cultures. He was an activist for the rights of restaurant staffs. In recent months he was a vocal supporter of the TimesUp and MeToo movements.
“It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain,” said CNN 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 network also reported the cause of death as suicide.
Anthony Bourdain left a mark
In 2013, Bourdain and “Parts Unknown” received a Peabody Award for “expanding our palates and horizons in equal measure.” The Peabody Awards honor the most powerful, enlightening, and invigorating stories in television, radio, and online media. “He’s irreverent, honest, curious, never condescending, never obsequious,” the Peabody judges said. “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.”
When he received the Peabody, Bourdain talked about the process of making his show. “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.”
The Smithsonian called him “The Elvis of bad boy chefs” and a rock star of the culinary world.
Writer and TV personality
His path to fame started in 1999, with an article he wrote for The New Yorker called “Don’t Eat Before You Read This“, which soon after became the bestselling book “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly“.
He then hosted his first show, “A Cook’s Tour” on the Food Network. It was followed by “No Reservations” on the Travel Channel. The latter brought him two Emmy Awards. “Parts Unknown” was on its 11th season.
How to get help if you’re struggling
If you or someone you know are in an emergency or need help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (for the United States).
If you’re in the UK, call the Samaritans on 116123.
For everywhere else in the world, find your country on this list of emergency hotlines.