This morning, we received the heart-wrenching news that Anthony Bourdain, 61, was found dead in Strasbourg, France. He was on location shooting an episode of his award-winning food and travel show, Parts Unknown. According to CNN, the cause of death was suicide. Chef, colleague, and friend Eric Ripert found him in his hotel room, unresponsive.
We here at Food52 are heartbroken to have lost such a talent today, one who's taught us so much over the years.
The renegade chef, cookbook author, TV host, and writer rose to fame after the publication of Kitchen Confidential, a New York Times best seller, in 2000. The book drew from his days on the line at the New York City restaurant Les Halles, letting readers in on the gritty underbelly of the raucous and fast-paced restaurant world. After its success, he ventured into television and helmed shows on the Food Network, the Travel Channel, and CNN. His Emmy-winning show Parts Unknown inspired armies of travelers, writers, chefs, and food lovers alike.
He was revered for his intrepid explorations and habit of giving voice to those not often featured in mainstream television. He also empowered other writers. As John Birdsall once put it, "All of us who try to write intelligently about food, even Bourdain's critics, are working in a tradition he's built."
In light of this tragic development, a wide range of people have taken to social media to express their sadness.
“Low plastic stool, cheap but delicious noodles, cold Hanoi beer.” This is how I’ll remember Tony. He taught us about food — but more importantly, about its ability to bring us together. To make us a little less afraid of the unknown. We’ll miss him. pic.twitter.com/orEXIaEMZM— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) June 8, 2018
Just saw the sad news that Anthony Bourdain has died. I watched his show when I was in space. It made me feel more connected to the planet, its people and cultures and made my time there more palatable. He inspired me to see the world up close. #RIPAnthonyBourdain pic.twitter.com/Cb6IfmzylN— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) June 8, 2018
Heartbroken to hear about Tony Bourdain’s death. Unbearable for his family and girlfriend. Am going off twitter for a while— Nigella Lawson (@Nigella_Lawson) June 8, 2018
My friend..I know you are on a Ferry going to somewhere amazing.....you still had so many places to show us, whispering to our souls the great possibilities beyond what we could see with our own eyes...you only saw beauty in all https://t.co/Ltw9HrCBb2 will always travel with me https://t.co/Yv4Ntud6X0— José Andrés (@chefjoseandres) June 8, 2018
Oh Tony. Oh no. Sitting here weeping. There will never be another like you. Really tragic loss.— ruthreichl (@ruthreichl) June 8, 2018
Bourdain is survived by his 11-year-old daughter Ariane.
We’re working on a more detailed remembrance of Anthony Bourdain, involving you (the community). How has Bourdain influenced and inspired you? We’d love to hear your memories and stories in the comments section below, and be sure to check back next week for the story.
If you are having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).