Anthony Bourdain Is Dead At 61—Here's A Look Back At His Illustrious Career
Emmy award-winning celebrity chef and author Anthony Bourdain has been found dead at his hotel room in France. His network, CNN, reported the sad news in a statement read on-air on Friday morning.
Eric Ripert, French chef and Bourdain's close friend, found him unresponsive in his hotel room this morning. Anthony was in France, working on an upcoming episode of his acclaimed CNN series Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. The network said the cause of death was suicide, without providing any additional details. He was 61 years old.
“It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain,” CNN network said. “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.”
Anthony first rose to prominence in 2000, when his book titled Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly became an instant New York Times best-seller. The book was initially based on his hit 1999 New Yorker article "Don't Eat Before Reading This." His well-received book chronicled the nature of Manhattan restaurant kitchens.
This fame led to his stint as host of his first world travel TV show on The Food Network from 2002-2003 called A Cook's Tour. It showed Anthony visiting exotic countries and cities worldwide where hosts treat him to local culture and cuisine. Then in 2005, he began hosting his longest-running show of almost the same format, Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, on the Travel Channel and Discovery Travel until 2012. On the side, he also hosted The Layover in 2011-2013, featuring what a traveler can do, eat, visit and enjoy within 24 to 48 hours in a city.
In 2013, he switched to CNN to host Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.
Before his work in the media, Anthony started his career in culinary arts in the 1970s, when he was attending Vassar College in New York while working in seafood restaurants in Provincetown Massachusetts. He went on to attend the Culinary Institute of America, graduating in 1978. He also ran various restaurant kitchens in New York City, such as the Supper Club, One Fifth Avenue, and Sullivan's. In 1998, he became executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles, a French brasserie-style restaurant based in Manhattan, New York that also had locations in Miami, Washington, D.C., and Tokyo.
1999 marked the year he found his spot in the media when he penned the famous New Yorker article, which would eventually lead to many milestones including being the host of CNN's Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. His CNN culinary series won five Emmy Awards, garnered 11 nominations for writing, sound mixing, editing and cinematography, as well as a 2013 Peabody Award.
While accepting the Peabody award in 2013, Bourdain described how he approached his work. "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."
Congratulations and thank you to everyone at @zpzproduction for the @criticschoice awards--particularly the incredibly hard working directors of photography, producers and editors who bust their asses every time trying to make something strange and special and unlike anything else. Our best work yet.
President Barack Obama was featured on the CNN program in an episode in Vietnam that aired in September 2016. The show had been set in places such as Libya, Tokyo, Punjab, Jamaica, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and recently, in France.
Anthony touched the hearts of Filipinos in 2015, when posts of him enjoying Jollibee's chicken joy, sisig and adobo went viral. It was for the filming of his Manila episode of Parts Unknown season 7, which aired in April 2016.
In his essay for CNN titled "Unfinished Business in the Philippines," Anthony shared that his daughter, Ariane, had a Filipino babysitter named Vangie from the time she was a baby. Through Vangie and her family, the celebrated chef learned more about Filipino culture.
"There's always singing, for instance," Anthony wrote. "Everybody seems to sing–an affinity passed on to my daughter. Family–and church, of course, loom large (even in my otherwise atheistic household). And food.”
"My daughter is no stranger to sisig and sinigang and adobo and holds me in disregard for being unable to procure her the delicious Filipino pastries and breads she finds at her other family's home," he shared.
Anthony was widely known for his travel shows that blended food, culture and history. The Smithsonian Magazine once called him "the original rock star of the culinary world," "the Elvis of bad boy chefs."
Here's a gallery of Anthony's photos that show what an adventure-filled life he led:
Photos from @anthonybourdain @asiaargento
Photo from @anthonybourdain