Newsdeck

Celebrity chef, author, TV food show host Anthony Bourdain dead at 61

By AFP 8 June 2018

Anthony Bourdain, the American celebrity chef and author whose popular television shows explored the diversity of the world's food and cultures, has committed suicide at the age of 61.

Bourdain was found dead in his hotel room in France, where he was filming an episode of his Emmy-winning CNN program “Parts Unknown,” the network said Friday.

French authorities said that Bourdain had died by hanging at a luxury hotel, the Chambard, in the village of Kaysersberg in the Haut-Rhin region of Alsace.

“At this stage, we have no reason to suspect foul play,” prosecutor Christian de Rocquigny du Fayel said.

CNN said Bourdain’s body was found by his close friend Eric Ripert, the French executive chef of New York restaurant Le Bernardin.

“His love of great adventure, new friends, fine food and drink and the remarkable stories of the world made him a unique storyteller,” the network said in a statement.

“His talents never ceased to amaze us and we will miss him very much.”

Bourdain’s sudden death drew tributes from around the world, including from US President Donald Trump, who described it as “very sad” and “very shocking.”

“He was quite a character,” Trump said.

Celebrity chefs Jose Andres and Gordon Ramsay paid tribute on Twitter.

“You still had so many places to show us, whispering to our souls the great possibilities beyond what we could see with our own eyes,” Andres said.

“Stunned and saddened by the loss of Anthony Bourdain,” said Ramsay. “He brought the world into our homes and inspired so many people to explore cultures and cities through their food.”

 

– ‘What do you eat?’ –

 

A gifted storyteller, Bourdain promoted haute cuisine and street food alike in his travels, passionately encouraging viewers to “eat and drink with people without fear and prejudice.”

“We ask very simple questions: What makes you happy? What do you eat? What do you like to cook?” Bourdain said in 2014 in an acceptance speech for a Peabody Award, a prestigious honor for US media.

“And everywhere in the world, we go and ask these simple questions. We tend to get really astonishing answers.”

After a start washing dishes in a restaurant, the New York-born Bourdain gradually rose through the ranks to become a chef.

His 2000 memoir, “Kitchen Confidential,” kicked off his celebrity career and led him to become a television host, starting with “A Cook’s Tour” on the Food Network.

He went on to host a show called “No Reservations” on the Travel Channel before moving to CNN with “Parts Unknown.”

On CNN, anchors struggled to hold back tears Friday as they reminisced about their late colleague and urged people faced with despair or who know people struggling with depression to call a suicide hotline.

CNN anchor John Berman remembered Bourdain as a “human contradiction.”

“He loved food. He wrote about food. He lived food. He thought we obsessed about food too much,” Berman said.

“He once said to me, ‘I wish people would stop taking pictures of food and have more sex.’ You know, because what he really wanted to do was to show people life.”

Bourdain rhapsodized about the joys of food and drink but was candid about his struggles with own demons, including alcohol and drug abuse and depression.

Bourdain leaves behind a teenage daughter Ariane, from his relationship with his ex-wife Ottavia Busia.

He had been dating Italian actress Asia Argento since 2017 and he became an outspoken advocate for the #MeToo movement after she revealed she had been sexually assaulted by movie producer Harvey Weinstein.

“I came out of a brutal, oppressive business that was historically unfriendly to women,” Bourdain said in an interview in January with “The Daily Show.”

“I knew a lot of women, it turned out, who had stories about their experience, about people I knew,” he said.

Bourdain’s death comes just days after the suicide of another celebrity, designer Kate Spade.

“Success does not protect you from depression. It doesn’t protect you from suicide,” Jodi Gold, director of the Gold Center for Mind Health and Wellness, said on CNN. DM

Gallery

Watch Pauli van Wyk’s Cat Play The Piano Here!

No, not really. But now that we have your attention, we wanted to tell you a little bit about what happened at SARS.

Tom Moyane and his cronies bequeathed South Africa with a R48-billion tax shortfall, as of February 2018. It's the only thing that grew under Moyane's tenure... the year before, the hole had been R30.7-billion. And to fund those shortfalls, you know who has to cough up? You - the South African taxpayer.

It was the sterling work of a team of investigative journalists, Scorpio’s Pauli van Wyk and Marianne Thamm along with our great friends at amaBhungane, that caused the SARS capturers to be finally flushed out of the system. Moyane, Makwakwa… the lot of them... gone.

But our job is not yet done. We need more readers to become Maverick Insiders, the friends who will help ensure that many more investigations will come. Contributions go directly towards growing our editorial team and ensuring that Daily Maverick and Scorpio have a sustainable future. We can’t rely on advertising and don't want to restrict access to only those who can afford a paywall subscription. Membership is about more than just contributing financially – it is about how we Defend Truth, together.

So, if you feel so inclined, and would like a way to support the cause, please join our community of Maverick Insiders.... you could view it as the opposite of a sin tax. And if you are already Maverick Insider, tell your mother, call a friend, whisper to your loved one, shout at your boss, write to a stranger, announce it on your social network. The battle for the future of South Africa is on, and you can be part of it.


Comments

Please note you must be a Maverick Insider to comment. Sign up here or if you are already an Insider.

Our Burning Planet

No Tomorrow, Part One: Gwede Mantashe, climate suicide & the ANC’s 2019 election manifesto

By Kevin Bloom

Popsicles were originally going to be called "Eppsicles" after their inventor Frank Epperson.