Anthony Bourdain Was Found Dead After Reportedly Killing Himself
Bourdain was in France filming CNN's Parts Unknown when was found in his hotel room.
TV show host, author, and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain was found dead in his hotel in France while filming an episode of CNN's Parts Unknown.
Bourdain, 61, was found unresponsive in his room Friday morning by close friend and fellow celebrity chef Eric Ripert. Bourdain's show Parts Unknown is currently airing its 11th season. He was working on an upcoming episode in Strasbourg, France.
"It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain," CNN said in a statement Friday morning. "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."
Bourdain's career revolutionized both the restaurant industry and the concept of the celebrity chef. He changed the way people thought about the restaurant industry, being a chef, and global food culture.
His debut book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures In The Culinary Underbelly in 2000 was a New York Times bestseller, which was followed up by a sequel in 2010 called Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine To The World Of Food And The People Who Cook. Both books were a combination of personal memoir and seedy tell-all of the restaurant in industry. Throughout his career, he was known for being an outspoken critic of other chefs he considered inauthentic. In 2011, he called Paula Deen "the most dangerous person to America."
Bourdain was also extremely vocal about his mental health, his history of substance abuse, and how those issues impacted the larger restaurant industry. In Kitchen Confidential, Bourdain writes extensively about drug use in kitchens, heroin in particular.
"It is one of the central ironies of my career that as soon as I got off heroin, things started getting really bad. High on dope, I was — prior to Gino's — at least, a chef, well paid, much liked by crew and floor and owners alike. Stabilized on methadone, I became nearly unemployable by polite society," Bourdain wrote in Kitchen Confidential.
"Anthony had his share of demons. He talked about drug abuse in his past in a different stage of his life," CNN's Brian Stelter said Friday morning. "But I don't have any further information on what could have led to this event."
He was also a vigorous supporter of immigrant rights. In 2015, Bourdain attacked then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's comments on illegal immigration, saying "every restaurant in America would shut down" if Trump's immigration plan was successful.
"I walked into restaurants and always, the person who had been there the longest, who took the time to show me how it was done, was always Mexican or Central American. The backbone of the industry — meaning most of the people in my experience cooking, preparing your food," he said.
Bourdain was the host of the Travel Channel's No Reservations from 2005 to 2012. While at the Travel Channel, Bourdain won two Emmy Awards. In 2013, Bourdain announced that he would be moving to CNN and hosting Parts Unknown. Bourdain quickly became one of the network's biggest stars, winning a Peabody award in 2013.
Most recently, Bourdain was a prominent voice in the #MeToo movement, which he credited to his relationship with girlfriend Asia Argento.
"I came out of a brutal, oppressive business that was historically unfriendly to women," Bourdain said on an episode of The Daily Show in January. "I'd like to say that I was only enlightened in some way or I'm an activist or virtuous, but in fact, I have to be honest with myself. I met one extraordinary woman with an extraordinary and painful story, who introduced me to a lot of other women with extraordinary stories and suddenly it was personal."
Bourdain married his high-school girlfriend, Nancy Putkoski, in 1985, divorcing in 2005. In 2007, he married Ottavia Busia, who he had a daughter with, Ariane, in 2007. The couple amicably divorced in 2016, which Bourdain blamed on his constant travel schedule.
This story is still developing.
Ryan Broderick is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
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