Anthony Bourdain took TV viewers around the world on CNN has died at the age of 61. Bourdain’s death on Friday was said to be caused by suicide.
“It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain,” the network said in a statement Friday morning. “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.”
The TV host was in France working on a new episode of his award-winning CNN series “Parts Unknown.”
A close friend, French chef Eric Ripert, found Bourdain unresponsive in his hotel room Friday morning.
“Tony was an exceptional talent,” CNN President Jeff Zucker said in an email to employees. “Tony will be greatly missed not only for his work but also for the passion with which he did it.”
Author and humorist John Hodgman recalled eating with Bourdain some 14 years ago.
“He was big even then, but he took time to sit with me in Chinatown to talk ‘weird’ food for a magazine piece I was writing. He taught me that our ‘weird’ is the world’s delicious,” Hodgman wrote on Twitter. “We ate chicken feet. The afternoon vibrated with life. RIP.”
I ate with Bourdain. Probably 2004. He was big even then but he took time to sit with me in Chinatown to talk “weird” food for a magazine piece I was writing. He taught me that our “weird” is the world’s delicious. We ate chicken feet. The afternoon vibrated with life. RIP
— John Hodgman (@hodgman) June 8, 2018
“I am shocked and deeply saddened,” chef and “Queer Eye” star Antoni Porowski wrote on Twitter. “RIP to a father, partner, chef, writer, and incredibly talented man. … Prayers for his loved ones.”
I am shocked and deeply saddened. RIP to a father, partner, chef, writer, and incredibly talented man. @Bourdain ❤ Prayers for his loved ones.
— Antoni Porowski (@antoni) June 8, 2018
In 2013, Peabody Award judges honored Bourdain and “Parts Unknown” for “expanding our palates and horizons in equal measure.”
“He’s irreverent, honest, curious, never condescending, never obsequious,” the judges said. “People open up to him and, in doing so, often reveal more about their hometowns or homelands than a traditional reporter could hope to document.”
The Smithsonian once called him “the original rock star” of the culinary world, “the Elvis of bad boy chefs.”
While accepting the Peabody award in 2013, Bourdain described how he approached his work.
“We ask very simple questions: What makes you happy? What do you eat? What do you like to cook? And everywhere in the world we go and ask these very simple questions,” he said, “we tend to get some really astonishing answers.”