Remembering Chef, TV Host, And Author Anthony Bourdain In The Wake Of Tragic News

"It illustrates that success is not immune to depression."

While the fashion world is still mourning designer Kate Spade, the culinary world has been sent reeling with the death of chef, TV host, and author Anthony Bourdain. Like Spade, who we've learned silently battled with depression and died by apparent suicide, Bourdain's cause of death has been reported as suicide — per CNN.

"It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain, the network — which Bourdain recently called home — 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." 

Bourdain, who was 61 and shooting for Parts Unknown in France at the time of death, leaves behind a daughter named Ariane and girlfriend with Italian actress/director Asia Argento, who has been an outspoken voice in the #MeToo and Time's Up movements.

CNN's statement went on to recognize his talents, saying they "never ceased to amaze us," and noted that "we will miss him very much." They sent "thoughts and prayers" to Bourdain's entire family during this "incredibly difficult time."

Bourdain was considered one of the most influential people in the food world, he shot to fame with his 2000 book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly (the first of many, including both fiction and nonfiction). Soon after that, TV grabbed hold of him and he had a series of TV shows including: A Cook's Tour (2002-2003), Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations (2005-2012), The Layover (2011-2013), and most recently with Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (2013-present).

Bourdain — a 1978 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America — received numerous awards throughout the years, including recognition for writing, a few Emmy Awards for TV hosting (No Reservations and Parts Unknown), induction into the James Beard Foundation's Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America, and a Peabody (for Parts Unknown).

The legacy Bourdain leaves behind is one that goes way beyond any culinary accomplishments. Bourdain was known for being intrigued by other cultures, exploring them, and introducing us to their food — not for curiosity's sake, but to actually teach viewers about the world. It is through Bourdain that many were exposed to cultures other than their own and were challenged to think differently — and thoughtfully — about the world.

Just this week the Center for Disease Control released a study showing that the rate of suicide in the U.S. has increased by nearly 25 percent over the past two decades. Given this finding, and the impact Bourdain's suicide will have all around the world, celebrities are using social media to both remember him as well as to tell others that his tragedy doesn't have to be theirs.

Here is a smattering of celeb reactions to Bourdain's death:

reposted: @questlovesfood Just saw the news this morning about Anthony Bourdain’s passing. I have so many thoughts about him—memories, emotions, and unanswered questions—that right now it’s sort of a jumble. I feel so thankful for him to introducing me to a world I never knew, the world of food and especially food around the world. It was through Anthony that I learned about the sushi master Jiro Ono was and that recommendation (seeing the Jiro doc & making a pilgrimage to Tokyo by any means necessary) singlehandedly changed the course of my professional and creative life. Anthony also believed, and talked often, about how all forms of creativity were connected: how chefs and drummers and comedians and actors and directors and painters all drew on the same well of thoughts and emotions. That feeling stuck with me. Watching him take trips to faraway lands to get a taste of heaven (and, just as often, to show how life on earth can be hell for people under the thumb of cruel governments or oppressive poverty) was the equivalent of my many trips to obscure record shops continents away. Lastly I’ll miss our endless banter about the merits (or lack therof) of Yacht Rock. Anthony came on Fallon often, and every time he liked to warn me that his walk-on music better have “some umph to it.” He wanted power and attitude. I’d agree with him, and then I’d play another Billy Joel song, which infuriated him. A few years back, to thank him for writing the foreword to my book, I started the ultimate troll project, though I never got to give it to him. We had an “argument” over Herb Alpert’s “Route 101”: I made the case that the song’s good-feeling/good-time vibe couldn’t be denied, and he made the case that he denied it, and the more heated the argument got the more we laughed. I told him imma make him the mother of smooth-pop playlists and then he would see the light. I’m finishing that playlist, and when I do, I’ll name it after him, just so I can imagine that laugh of his.

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If you or a loved one are in a crisis, you can reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK to speak with a skilled, trained counselor who is ready to listen to you.

Cover image via: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock


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