Anthony Bourdain, Acclaimed Chef And Visual Storyteller, Dies At 61

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On Friday morning (June 8), the world woke up to the shocking news of acclaimed author and chef Anthony Bourdain’s passing. According to CNN, the 61-year-old was found unresponsive in his hotel room in France. Authorities have deemed the cause of death a suicide. Bourdain was on assignment for his award-winning show, Parts Unknown, at the time of his passing.

“His love of great adventure, new friends, fine food and drink and the remarkable stories of the world made him a unique storyteller,” a statement from CNN reads. “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’s daugther, Ariane, is 11.

From the Food Network to the Travel Channel to CNN, Bourdain seamlessly married the art of conversation with the art of food innovation. The Peabody Award winner’s Parts Unknown recently entered its eleventh season on CNN in May.

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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From the pages of his bestselling books like “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures In The Culinary Underbelly,” Bourdain translated his culinary expertise to in-person conversations about politics and culture over dishes in various parts of the globe. Described by journalist Jamil Smith as someone who had “a generous curiosity about the world,” Bourdain’s demeanor and knack for presenting new ideas on the small screen will forever inspire viewers.