Anthony Bourdain dead: Tributes pour in for beloved ‘Parts Unknown’ host

By @chelean on
  • Chef Anthony Bourdain poses at the 2015 Creative Arts Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, California September 12, 2015.
    Chef Anthony Bourdain poses at the 2015 Creative Arts Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, California September 12, 2015. Reuters/Danny Moloshok
  • U.S. President Barack Obama talks with Anthony Bourdain
    U.S. President Barack Obama talks with Anthony Bourdain after an interview at a shopping area of Hanoi, Vietnam May 24, 2016. Reuters/Carlos Barria
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World-famous American chef Anthony Bourdain has died in an apparent suicide. The “Parts Unknown” host was 61.

His close friend Eric Ripert, a French chef, found him unresponsive in his hotel room in France on Friday morning. He was in the country to work on an upcoming episode of his CNN series, an Emmy Award-winning show that had him travelling to lesser known places around the world and exploring their cultures and cuisine.

“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.”

Apart from being famous as a culinary expert, Bourdain made an international name for himself as a world-travelling chef who explored different parts of the world for culinary and cultural adventure. His first television show was “A Cook’s Tour” on the Food Network from 2002 to 2003. He then hosted the famous “Anthony Bourdain” No Reservations” from 2005 to 2012 and “The Layover” from 2011 to 2013 on The Travel Channel. In 2013, he joined the news-centric network CNN to host “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.”

His career as a food writer and travel host earned him numerous accolades. His New York Times bestselling book “A Cook’s Tour” was named Food Book of the Year in 2002 by the British Guild of Food Writers. His “No Reservations” show also won several awards, including the Critics’ Choice Best Reality Series gong in 2012.

Bourdain, through his travels and television programs, endeared himself to audiences and the people he met around the world by showing how to honour, respect and appreciate different cultures with his honest yet humble approach.

In 2017, he became one of the most vocal advocates against sexual harassment in Hollywood. He supported his girlfriend Asia Argento’s sexual abuse allegations against disgraced Hollywood bigwig Harvey Weinstein.

“Anthony gave all of himself in everything that he did. His brilliant, fearless spirt touched and inspired so many, and his generosity knew no bounds,” Argento said in a statement. “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.”

Chef Anthony Bourdain (R) and actor Asia Argento (L) Chef Anthony Bourdain (R) and actor Asia Argento (L) pose at the 2017 Creative Arts Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, California September 9, 2017.  Reuters/Danny Moloshok

Bourdain is survived by his 11-year-old daughter, Ariane, who lives with his second ex-wife Ottavia Busia. In his interview with People in February, he said he often went back to New York to see his daughter and lead a normal life, “which is extraordinarily pleasurable to me.”

In the same interview, he also suggested he had no plans to retire any time soon.

“I gave up on that. I’ve tried. I just think I’m just too nervous, neurotic, driven,” he told People. “I would have had a different answer a few years ago. I might have deluded myself into thinking that I’d be happy in a hammock or gardening. But no, I’m quite sure I can’t.”

He added, “I’m going to pretty much die in the saddle.”

Reactions on Bourdain’s death

Former US President Barack Obama, who once shared with him noodles and a beer at a humble eatery in Vietnam, remembered the beloved TV personality fondly, saying he would miss Bourdain.

Bourdain’s fellow TV chefs also expressed their sympathies, praising their colleague for being a trailblazer in the industry.

Other famous personalities, even those who had never met Bourdain personally, also expressed their sorrow over the tragic news.

Should you need support and counsel or information about suicide prevention, please call Suicide Call Back Service at 1300 659 467. If someone is in immediate risk of harm, call emergency services 000.