Chef, author, and TV personality Anthony Bourdain was found dead in a France hotel room Friday morning. CNN, the network Bourdain starred with his award-winning series “Parts Unknown,” confirmed the cause of death as suicide. He was 61. Bourdain was in France working on an upcoming episode of the series when he was found unresponsive by chef and close friend Eric Ripert.
“It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain. 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. “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.”
Added CNN president Jeff Zucker in an email to employees: “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.”
Bourdain’s 2000 best-selling book “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly” launched his stardom following a 1999 New Yorker article “Don’t Eat Before Reading This.” The book chronicled Bourdain’s battle with drug abuse and provided a candid behind-the-scenes look into the often-hazardous kitchen culture of restaurants. Bourdain would go on to write four more non-fiction titles: “A Cook’s Tour;” “The Nasty Bits;” “No Reservations;” and “Medium Raw.” His TV career spanned “A Cook’s Tour;” “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations;” “The Layover;” and “Parts Unknown.” No Reservations, which aired on the Travel Channel, earned Bourdain two Emmy Awards. Peabody Award judges honored Bourdain and “Parts Unknown” in 2013. Season 11 premiered on CNN last month.
Bourdain, once called “the original rock star” of the culinary world by The Smithsonian, graduated from The Culinary Institute of America in 1978 and clocked time in several acclaimed kitchens, including working as the executive chef at New York City French bistro Brasserie Les Halles, which closed in March 2016.