Famed American chef and author Anthony Bourdain is dead after taking his own life. He was 61.
CNN confirmed Bourdain’s death Friday morning.
“It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain,” the network 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.”
CNN said Bourdain was in France working on a story for his award-winning series Parts Unknown when he was found “unresponsive” in a hotel room Friday morning by his close friend and French chef Eric Ripert.
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Asia Argento, Bourdain’s girlfriend of two years, issued a statement saying the iconic cook “gave all of himself in everything he did.
“His brilliant, fearless spirit touched and inspired so many, and his generosity knew no bounds,” Argento said. “He was my love, my rock, my protector. I am beyond devastated.
“My thoughts are with his family,” Argento said.
Bourdain was twice divorced and has a daughter from his second marriage.
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Bourdain was vocal of the #MeToo movement after Argento accused Harvey Weinstein of rape. After Mario Batali was accused of sexual assault, Bourdain published an essay in Medium in which he wrote that “one must pick a side.”
“I stand unhesitatingly and unwaveringly with the women,” he wrote.
Bourdain’s death comes the same week that another American figure had taken their own life. Kate Spade was found dead in her New York apartment on Tuesday, June 5. She was 55.
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Bourdain was a host on the Food Network and the Travel Channel before joining CNN in 2013.
CNN’s Brian Stelter described the storyteller as a “beloved member of the CNN family.”
“He loved travelling the globe, talking with people about life and love and death,” Stelter said. “His show was technically about cooking, about culture but really it was about the human condition. It was about exploring what makes us all tick.”
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Celebrity chefs mourned the loss of Bourdain following the news of his suicide, while others shared famed quotes.
“Stunned and saddened by the loss of Anthony Bourdain,” Gordon Ramsay tweeted. “He brought the world into our homes and inspired so many people to explore cultures and cities through their food. Remember that help is a phone call away US:1-800-273-TALK UK: 116 123”
Buddy Valastro said he was “gutted” by the news.
“Gutted to hear we’ve lost @Bourdain. If you are ever feeling alone, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1 (800) 273-8255,” the chef tweeted.
Bourdain’s profile began to soar in 1999, when The New Yorker published his article “Don’t Eat Before Reading This,” which he developed into the 2000 book, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly.
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Bourdain told The New Yorker in 2017 that his idea for Parts Unknown, which was then in its 11th season, was travelling, eating and doing whatever he wanted. The show featured meals in both out-of-the-way restaurants and the homes of locals, providing what the magazine called “communion with a foreign culture so unmitigated that it feels practically intravenous.”
In 2016, when then-U.S. president Barack Obama travelled to Vietnam, Bourdain met him in Hanoi and dined over some noodles and grilled pork.
“’Low plastic stool, cheap but delicious noodles, cold Hanoi beer.’ This is how I’ll remember Tony.” Obama tweeted Friday. “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.”
President Donald Trump said Friday that he “enjoyed his show” and that Bourdain “was quite a character.”
In an email to employees, CNN President Jeff Zucker said “Tony was an exceptional talent.”
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“Tony will be greatly missed not only for his work but also for the passion with which he did it,” Zucker said, according to CNN.
A U.S. government report released Thursday found suicide rates inched up in nearly every U.S. state from 1999 through 2016. More than half of suicides in 2015 in a subgroup of 27 states were among people with no known mental health condition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.
Where to get help
If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate help.
The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, Depression Hurts and Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 all offer ways of getting help if you, or someone you know, may be suffering from mental health issues.
–with a files from the Associated Press
© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.