Anthony Bourdain commits suicide; celebrity chef and TV host was 61

June 8, 2018

by Kathy Patterson

Anthony Bourdain
Anthony Bourdain (Photo courtesy of CNN)

Anthony Bourdain, the celebrity chef who hosted CNN’s Emmy-winning food/travel series “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown,” was found dead of suicide by hanging in a hotel room in Strasbourg, France, on June 8, 2018. He was 61 and would have turned 62 on June 25, 2018. According to CNN, Bourdain was in France to film an episode of “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.” Celebrity chef Eric Ripert, a friend of Bourdain’s who frequently appeared on the show, found Bourdain unresponsive in the hotel room.

CNN issued this statement: “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. 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.”

Born and raised in New York City, Bourdain graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 1978, and he made his mark in the culinary world in the 1980s and 1990s as an executive chef at Manhattan restaurants Supper Club, One Fifth Avenue and Sullivan’s. In 1998, he became executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles, another upscale Manhattan restaurant. Bourdain was also an author of several books, most notably his 2000 memoir “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly.” In his memoirs and in interviews, Bourdain spoke openly about using illegal drugs during most of his career.

“Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown” launched in April 2013 and has since earned five Emmy Awards. Its 10th season premiered in October 2017. Bourdain described the season as the “strangest, wildest, most creative season yet.”

Before hosting “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown,” Bourdain  hosted three other culinary-based shows: “A Cook’s Tour” (which was on the Food Network from 2002 to 2003); “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations” (which was on Travel Channel from 2005 to 2012); and “The Layover” (which was on Travel Channel from 2011 to 2013).

In the last year of his life, Bourdain was an outspoken supporter of the #MeToo movement. Bourdain’s girlfriend was actress/filmmaker Asia Argento, who is one of the women who has accused Harvey Weinstein of raping her. Argento frequently traveled with Bourdain and was often seen on “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.”

Bourdain was married and divorced twice. His first marriage to his high-school sweetheart Nancy Putkoski lasted from 1985 to 2005. He was married to restaurant manager-turned-martial-artist Ottavia Busia from 2007 to 2016. Bourdain and Busia have a daughter named Ariane, who was born in 2007.

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