There have never been many (if any) reasons for me to flip the channel to CNN… for obvious reasons. But late at night after coming home from work, when the other channels were just re-running the days’ news, I could always count on my favorite chef and traveler, Anthony Bourdain, to be on and showing us foods from cultures around the world.
Though he battled addiction, Bourdain had allegedly changed his life — which seemed to be apparent on his successful “Parts Unknown” show.
PARIS — Anthony Bourdain, the TV celebrity and food writer who hosted CNN’s “Parts Unknown,” was found dead in his hotel room Friday in France while working on his series on culinary traditions around the world. He was 61.
CNN confirmed the death, saying that Bourdain was found unresponsive Friday morning by friend and chef Eric Ripert near the French city of Strasbourg. It called his death a suicide. Police sources told French news agency AFP that the cause of death was hanging.
Ripert declined comment when reached by CBS News. Bourdain was staying at Le Chambard, a 5-star hotel in the village of Kayserberg.
Bourdain achieved celebrity status after the publication in 2000 of his best-selling book “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly.” The book created a sensation by combining frank details of his life and career with behind-the-scenes observations on the culinary industry. It was a rare crossover – a book intended for professional cooks that had enormous mass appeal.
Bourdain went on to achieve widespread fame thanks to his CNN series “Parts Unknown” – and was filming an upcoming segment for the program when he was found dead, according to CNN.
CNN chief executive Jeff Zucker sent a note to staff saying the circumstances of the death are still unclear but that “we do know that Tony took his own life.”
“Tony was an exceptional talent. A storyteller. A gifted writer. A world traveler. An adventurer. He brought something to CNN that no one else had ever brought before,” Zucker said in the letter. “This is a very, very sad day.”
Strasbourg police, emergency services and regional authorities did not immediately have information about the death. Bourdain’s assistant Laurie Woolever would not comment when reached by The Associated Press.
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.”
Celebrity Chefs, fans and U.S. President Donald Trump were among those stunned and saddened by the news.
“I want to extend to his family my heartfelt condolences,” Trump said.