Anthony Bourdain, celebrity chef and CNN host, dead in apparent suicide at 61
PARIS — Anthony Bourdain, the TV celebrity and food writer who hosted CNN’s “Parts Unknown,” was found dead in his hotel room Friday in France while working on his series on culinary traditions around the world. He was 61.
CNN confirmed the death, saying that Bourdain was found unresponsive Friday morning by friend and chef Eric Ripert near the French city of Strasbourg. It called his death a suicide. Police sources told French news agency AFP that the cause of death was hanging.
Ripert declined comment when reached by CBS News. Bourdain was staying at Le Chambard, a 5-star hotel in the village of Kayserberg.
Bourdain achieved celebrity status after the publication in 2000 of his best-selling book “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly.” The book created a sensation by combining frank details of his life and career with behind-the-scenes observations on the culinary industry. It was a rare crossover – a book intended for professional cooks that had enormous mass appeal.
Bourdain went on to achieve widespread fame thanks to his CNN series “Parts Unknown” – and was filming an upcoming segment for the program when he was found dead, according to CNN.
CNN chief executive Jeff Zucker sent a note to staff saying the circumstances of the death are still unclear but that “we do know that Tony took his own life.”
“Tony was an exceptional talent. A storyteller. A gifted writer. A world traveler. An adventurer. He brought something to CNN that no one else had ever brought before,” Zucker said in the letter. “This is a very, very sad day.”
Strasbourg police, emergency services and regional authorities did not immediately have information about the death. Bourdain’s assistant Laurie Woolever would not comment when reached by The Associated Press.
In his travels, Bourdain has eaten everything from rotten shark to sheep testicles.
“Is there anything you won’t eat?” CBS News’ Anthony Mason asked Bourdain in 2016.