In Memoriam: Anthony Bourdain

Today, the world mourns the loss of Anthony Bourdain. The celebrated author, cook and television personality  was found dead in his France hotel room of apparent suicide.

CNN confirmed in a statement this morning:

"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."

Anthony Bourdain was born on June 25, 1956 in New York City to his father Pierre, a music industry executive, and mother, Gladys, a staff editor at the New York Times. Having French grandparents, he spent summers in the country with his family; he recounts his first oyster encounter during his family holiday in his first autobiography, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly.

"I took it in my hand, tilted the shell back into my mouth as instructed by the by now beaming Monsieur Saint-Jour, and with one bite and a slurp wolfed it down. It tasted of seawater . . . of brine and flesh . . . and, somehow . . . of the future.

Everything was different now. Everything.

I'd not only survived—I’d enjoyed."

The novel put The Culinary Institute of America graduate on the map, as he famously told tales of the “dark side” of the industry through his jobs at various New York City kitchens and eventually leading the team at Les Halles brasserie. Bourdain’s other penned works include A Cook’s TourThe Nasty Bits, and Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook, among others. This is only the tip of the editorial iceberg for the incredibly gifted storyteller; Bourdain contributed to countless publications including Food Arts magazine, the New York TimesThe New Yorker and Maxim

Bourdain may best be known for his traveling and culinary adventures in his portfolio of television programs: A Cook's Tour ran from 2002 to 2003, Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations and The Layover aired for several seasons on the Travel Channel; and the latest, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown on CNN. Through all of these, Bourdain showcased various cultures and its people through food. “I think when you travel as much as I have, you—I don’t want to say more humble—but become aware of how other people live, how hard their lives are, how big the world is,” he said in an interview with CBS This Morning

Anthony Bourdain—who describes himself as an “enthusiast” across his social media platforms—will be remembered as just that, a true enthusiast of life, and who challenged people to think differently about the way we view food and travel. 

Our deepest condolences go out to Mr. Bourdain’s family and daughter through this tragic time. 

If you are having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Images courtesy of the Parts Unknown Facebook page

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