This morning brings the impossibly sad news that Anthony Bourdain, the near-universally beloved celebrity chef and TV host, has died. CNN reports that Bourdain died by suicide in France, where he was filming an episode of his show Parts Unknown. His friend Eric Ripert, a French chef, found him unresponsive in his hotel room this morning. Bourdain was 61.
Bourdain was born in New York and grew up in New Jersey. After dropping out of Vassar, he became a chef, coming up in New York’s restaurant scene. Bourdain became famous after he turned his 1999 New Yorker article “Don’t Eat Before Reading This” into the bestselling 2000 memoir Kitchen Confidential: Adventures In The Culinary Underbelly. From there, Bourdain hosted the TV shows A Cook’s Tour, No Reservations, and Parts Unknown, venturing around the world to speak with locals and to try the different kids of food, always doing whatever he could to show local cultures on entirely human terms.
Bourdain was a big music fan, and he often featured musicians on his various shows. At various points, he broadcasted his conversations with members of Queens Of The Stone Age, the Black Keys, Sleigh Bells, Neon Indian, and the Dead Weather, as well as legends like Iggy Pop, and his shows also featured performances from groups like Fucked Up and Das Racist. Josh Homme and Mark Lanegan did the theme for Parts Unknown, but Bourdain still spoke out against Homme when he kicked a female photographer in the face last year.
Here’s Bourdain’s episode of Fucked Up frontman Damian Abraham’s Turned Out A Punk podcast, in which Bourdain discusses his time cooking for punk bands and his own battles with addiction:
And here he is with Homme:
This was a fundamentally decent human being and a force for good in the world, and he’ll be missed.
If you or someone you know needs help, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1–800–273–8255 or go to SuicidePreventionLifeline.org to chat with someone online.