FRANCE — The industry is reeling this morning following the news of the death of Anthony Bourdain.
The 61-year-old chef, author and TV personality was found dead in his hotel room in France, where he was filming an episode of his CNN series Parts Unknown. According to the network, the cause of death was suicide.
CNN released a statement that read “It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain. 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.”
After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in 1978, Bourdain went on to operate various restaurant kitchens in New York City — including the Supper Club, One Fifth Avenue and Sullivan’s. In 1998 he became executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles, based in Manhattan with additional locations, at the time, in Miami, Washington, D.C., and Tokyo, Japan.
His first TV show, A Cook’s Tour, premiered on the Food Network in 2002. Three years later, he joined the Travel Channel with Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations — earning two Emmy Awards. He moved to CNN in 2013 to host, Parts Unknown, which was in its 11th season.
Bourdain, largely considered one of the most influential chefs in the world, rose to fame in 2000 when he released his best-selling book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly. In the book — a behind-the-scenes expose on the New York restaurant industry — Bourdain wrote candidly about his cocaine, heroin and LSD addictions.
“You can talk to any chef in Toronto and they either knew of [Bourdain] or were influenced by him,” said Indie 88 radio host Matt Hart when breaking the news this morning. “He made it cool to be a chef.”