American celebrity chef, travel host and author Anthony Bourdain was found dead in his hotel room in France on Friday.
CNN confirmed death, saying it was a suicide. “It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain,” the network said in its statement. “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.”
His close friend Eric Ripert found Bourdain unresponsive in his hotel room on Friday morning, reported CNN.
Bourdain, aged 61, was in Strasbourg, France working on an upcoming episode of his CNN series on culinary traditions around the world, titled “Parts Unknown”.
Bourdain was revered by people across the world for his travel stories and gastronomic expertise.
In 2013, Peabody Award judges honored Bourdain and “Parts Unknown” for “expanding our palates and horizons in equal measure”.
The Smithsonian once called him “the original rock star” of the culinary world, “the Elvis of bad boy chefs”, said the CNN report.
In 1999, he wrote a New Yorker article, “Don’t Eat Before Reading This”, that became a best-selling book in 2000, “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly”.
His show “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations” on the Travel Channel was a hit, earning two Emmy Awards and more than a dozen nominations.
Bourdain’s death comes only a few days after fashion designer Kate Spade hanged herself in an apparent suicide at her Manhattan apartment, drawing new attention to celebrity suicides.
A US government report released on Thursday found that suicide rates had inched up in nearly every US state from 1999 through 2016. More than half of suicides in 2015 in a subgroup of 27 states were among people with no known mental health condition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.