Celebrity Chef, 'Parts Unknown' Host Anthony Bourdain Dead At 61
/ CBS Los Angeles
(CBS News) — American celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain has been found dead in his hotel room in France while working on his CNN series on culinary traditions around the world, the network announced Friday. He was 61.
CNN confirmed the death, saying in a statement he was found unresponsive Friday morning by friend and chef Eric Ripert, who regularly appears on Bourdain's show "Parts Unknown." The network called it a suicide without providing any additional details. Ripert declined comment when reached by CBS News.
CNN said Bourdain was in Strasbourg filming an upcoming segment in his series.
"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."
Strasbourg police and emergency services did not immediately have information about the death.
Bourdain's death drew new attention to celebrity suicides.
It came three days after fashion designer Kate Spade died of apparent suicide in her Park Avenue apartment in New York. Spade's husband and business partner said the 55-year-old business mogul had suffered from depression and anxiety for many years.
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.
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In his travels, Bourdain has eaten everything from rotten shark to sheep testicles.
"I've eaten a lot of bad food, I've eaten a lot of putrefied food," Bourdain said. "It's when no one cares at all, that's soul-destroying. I mean, maybe I take it too seriously, but I will literally -- a really carelessly made burger by a large cynical large company, the contempt implicit in that transaction can really send me into a spiral of depression that will last for days."
Celebrities from Neil deGrasse Tyson to Mandy Moore reacted to news of Bourdain's death on Twitter.
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The culinary community also reacted with disbelief.
In the preface to the latest edition "Kitchen Confidential," Bourdain wrote of his shock at the success off his book, which he wrote by getting up at 5 a.m. in the morning to steal a couple of hours at the computer before appearing at the saute station for lunch.
He said he never intended to write an expose or to "rip the lid off the restaurant business." He said he liked the restaurant business the way it was.
"What I set out to do was write a book that my fellow cooks would find entertaining and true. I wanted it to sound like me talking at say ... ten o'clock on a Saturday night, after a busy dinner rush, me and a few cooks hanging around in the kitchen, knocking back a few beers and talking shit."
Bourdain said he really had no idea that anyone outside the world of chefs would even pay attention to his comments. It seemed to startle him, that a book intended for professional cooks would have such mass appeal.
"The new celebrity chef culture is a remarkable and admittedly annoying phenomenon. While it's been nothing but good for business - and for me personally - many of us in the life can't help snickering about it," he wrote. "Of all the professions, after all, few people are less suited to be suddenly thrown into the public eye than chefs."