Anthony Bourdain's death hit many people hard. CNN confirmed the news of his death by suicide on Friday morning, and it sparked an outpour of grief for the beloved chef and celebrity TV host. The tributes to Bourdain on Twitter came in fast; many highlighted his outsized influence on the food world and beyond, and his courage in speaking openly about difficult topics.
Bourdain had been in France working on a new episode of Parts Unknown when French chef Eric Ripert, his close friend, found him unresponsive in his hotel room on Friday morning, CNN reported. The network released a statement confirming his death. "His love of great adventure, new friends, fine food and drink and the remarkable stories of the world made him a unique storyteller," the statement read. "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 was first propelled to stardom by his book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, which shed light on the grim, gritty realities of the culinary world. It turned him into a TV star; he traveled the world as a host on No Reservations for eight seasons, then joined CNN in 2012 for Parts Unknown, a series exploring food, politics, and cultures around the world.
Though Bourdain undoubtedly made his stamp on the food industry, his impact went way beyond the culinary world. On Twitter, many praised him for his sweeping sense of curiosity about the world.
Others remembered the unique touch he had in connecting with people from other cultures and backgrounds.
Many people of color also remembered Bourdain for the how he approached different cultures in his shows, and his enthusiasm for learning.
"He was an incredible storyteller and one of the few white chefs who approached non-white foods and culture with respect," journalist Lara Witt wrote on Twitter.
Both No Reservations and Parts Unknown weren't just about food and travel; many people pointed out that his singular approach to these topics delved into much deeper territory.
Some also spoke of how he often highlighted the contributions of immigrants on his show. "Thank you for always reminding us of the silent but profoundly beautiful [and] delicious contributions of #immigrants," journalist Alice Driver tweeted.
As the #MeToo movement swept the country in 2017, Bourdain was among the few men who spoke publicly about how it forced him to reassess his history. His girlfriend, actress Asia Argento, was one of the many women to come forward accusing Harvey Weinstein of rape. (Weinstein denies all allegations of sexual non-consensual sex.)
“I’d like to say that I was only enlightened in some way or I’m an activist or virtuous, but in fact, I have to be honest with myself," Bourdain said on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, where he credited Argento with opening his eyes to the pattern of misbehavior in many industries. "I met one extraordinary woman with an extraordinary and painful story, who introduced me to a lot of other women with extraordinary stories and suddenly it was personal."
Bourdain's death comes days after designer Kate Spade died by suicide. As the tributes and tweets continue to pour in, many have also made a pointed note to raise awareness about suicide prevention.
"We lost Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain in less than a week due to suicide," Twitter user Bea Peñarroyo tweeted. "Mental illness is not a joke. They may have thriving careers, but you’ll never really be aware of their internal battles. Make your loved ones feel that you’re there for them."
If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.