Chef, author, and star television host Anthony Bourdain died of an apparent suicide, CNN confirmed Friday. Emotional tweets responding to the news of Bourdain's death immediately flooded Twitter, as friends and fans mourned the loss of a singular individual and media presence.
Bourdain was in France working on the upcoming season of his CNN television series Parts Unknown; Eric Ripert, a friend and colleague, found him unresponsive in his hotel room Friday morning.
Bourdain first came to fame through the written word, penning provocative tales of what really went on in the kitchens of posh restaurants, as well as his own struggles with substance abuse. His book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly became a bestseller in 2000 and catapulted Bourdain to a celebrity status that would remain undiminished. Bourdain went on to host A Cook's Tour on the Food Network before moving over to the Travel Channel, where his next venture — Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations — would earn him two Emmy nominations.
In 2013, Bourdain joined CNN as host of Parts Unknown. CNN reports he "quickly became one of the principal faces of the network and one of the linchpins of the prime time schedule." The show's 11th season recently premiered on the cable news network.
Bourdain's colleagues reacted on Twitter with messages of grief, as well as highlights and quotes from Bourdain's life.
NPR's show Morning Edition shared a quote from a 2016 interview with Bourdain. The host told NPR's Dave Davies that if you ask someone "'Hey, what makes you happy? What do you like to eat?' They'll tell you extraordinary things, many of which have nothing to do with food."
Fellow celebrities and fans alike also tweeted information and encouragement to others who may be struggling with suicidal thoughts. Comedian Patton Oswalt tweeted out the National Suicide Prevention Hotline and shared with fans on Twitter, "I’ve brushed up against this darkness and I know it’s a tempting exit but REACH OUT to ANYONE. Stay on this side of it — in the light and warmth. Where you get to try again, every day."
The New Pornographers band member Carl Newman wrote, "Depression comes in many many forms, it attacks different people in different ways. Tell someone about it. Cling to the raft. Keep going."
Many of Bourdain's colleagues, past and present, posted tweets about their own personal interactions with him and the behind-the-scenes advocating he regularly did for others. Writer and editor David Beard tweeted, "Apart from his work, he championed the cause of
@jrezaian when the journalist was imprisoned in Iran for doing his job." After Jason Rezaian gained his freedom, Bourdain urged him to " write a book — and would agree to publish it."
Lamar White Jr., a founder of The Bayou Brief, shared a photo of Bourdain on a recent trip to New Orleans and wrote: "Anthony Bourdain loved and understood Louisiana better than anyone not from here possibly could. He got us."
Mia Farrow wrote that Bourdain was "cool, fun, frank, insightful." She went on to write that "without ever preaching, he reminded us that we humans are far more alike than different. Thank you Anthony Bourdain."
Astronaut Scott Kelly wrote on Twitter that he watched Bourdain's show during his time in space. "It made me feel more connected to the planet, its people and cultures and made my time there more palatable," he added.
A repeated sentiment was Bourdain's ability to connect viewers with the far-off cuisine and cultures of countries thousands of miles away, but also with the "parts unknown"' much closer to home. NFL reporter Charles Robinson wrote that Bourdain "connected us with war and poverty and humanity abroad, but he also showed us the value in a journey only a few feet away."
ABC producer Chris Donovan shared a quote from a 2015 interview Bourdain did with Wine Spectator. Asked how he'd like to be remembered, Bourdain said, "That I grew up a little." He also included "That I'm a dad, that I'm not a half-bad cook, that I can make a good coq au vin. That would be nice. And not such a bad bastard after all."
Writer Rachael Berkey shared that Bourdain "gave us a story of hope through darkness and addiction, unashamed joy in love and fatherhood, and a constant reminder of the sacredness to sharing a meal and raising a glass to friendship and family, no matter who sat at the the table."
For Bourdain's family, friends, and colleagues — as well millions of fans worldwide — his death is a tragedy. If Twitter reactions are any indication, Bourdain will be remembered not only for his fearless food travel ventures and unapologetic frankness, but even more so for his unpretentious curiosity and open acceptance of all those with whom he sat down for a meal.
If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911 or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. You can also text the Crisis Text Line at 741-741. For international resources, here is a good place to begin.