Anthony Bourdain, Celebrity Chef and Travel Show Star, Dead at 61

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Anthony Bourdain — the revered chef, television host, author, and advocate — has died at age 61, CNN announced Friday, June 8.

“It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain,” CNN 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.”

Bourdain was in Strausborg, France, filming for an upcoming episode of Parts Unknown, the acclaimed CNN travel and food show that is currently in its 11th season. Cause of death was suicide, the news network confirmed. “His close friend Eric Ripert, the French chef, found Bourdain unresponsive in his hotel room Friday morning,” CNN wrote.

Bourdain’s loss was felt immediately around the world “A piece of my heart is truly broken this morning,” said Andrew Zimmern, a friend and frequent collaborator, on Twitter Friday morning. “Tony was a symphony. I wish everyone could have seen all of him. A true friend.”

“We are stunned and deeply saddened to hear that the world is now without its global ambassador, Anthony Bourdain. He was an incredible talent who showed us beautiful, gritty, complicated, and delicious places in every corner of the world,” read a statement from the Travel Channel.

Bourdain was born June 25, 1956, in New York City. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of American in 1978, Bourdain worked in several famous kitchens, most notably the now-shuttered Brasserie Les Halles in New York.

His 2000 book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, followed by his first TV series, A Cook’s Tour on Food Network, elevated Bourdain from industry star to household name. Bourdain is best known as the host of No Reservations, the Emmy Award-nominated culinary travel show that ran on the Travel Channel from 2005 until 2012.

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown

In 2013, Bourdain made a bold move to CNN and launched a new show, Parts Unkown, which dug deeper into cultures and cuisines in different communities across the globe. Parts Unkown has garnered five Emmy Awards and a 2013 Peabody Award.

Throughout his career, Bourdain was an outspoken advocate for a variety of underrepresented people in the culinary world. He regularly championed immigrants, shining a spotlight on some of the issues they face and their many contributions to the restaurant industry. He also spoke out against sexual harassment.

Bourdain is survived by his daughter; his girlfriend, Asia Argento; and his ex-wives, Ottavia Busia and Nancy Putkoski.

“We can all help prevent suicide,” says the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. We agree. This free service offers 24/7 confidential support and resources for folks in crisis, as well as friends and family. Call 1-800-273-8255 or chat online.

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