On the morning of Friday, June 8, celebrity chef, writer, and TV personality Anthony Bourdain was found dead in a hotel in a hotel room in Strasbourg, France. The reported cause of death was suicide. He was 61.
If the tributes that have emerged over the last few hours tell us anything it's that Anthony Bourdain used his outspoken persona and platform as a public figure to bring light to important issues. He often spoke out about the contributions and struggles of Latinx immigrants in the restaurant industry. Recently, he also became an advocate of the #MeToo Movement, and specifically called for change in the restaurant world. In November 2017, he told Refinery29, "It’s probably too late to change the hearts, minds, and attitudes of generations of old-school male chefs. But it’s definitely not too late to change their behavior, if only out of self-interest."
But Bourdain was also a chef (he graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 1978), writer, and TV host who used his platform to transform the way we think about food culture. He wrote three New York Times bestsellers, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, A Cook's Tour, and Nasty Bits. He won four Primetime Emmy Awards with his CNN series Parts Unknown, for which he was currently working on new episodes. In Parts Unknown and in all of his endeavors, Bourdain used food as an avenue for exploring and appreciating other cultures.
Anthony Bourdain's significant impact on the culinary world is evident by the outpouring of devastated responses from fellow chefs and food writers. This morning, many took to social media to share their favorite memories of Bourdain and how he affected their lives, careers, and the industry.
If you or someone you know is considering self-harm, please get help. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.