Anthony Bourdain Dies at 61
Anthony bourdain, the television personality and writer, who shot to fame with his culinary-driven globe trotting, has died by suicide. He was 61.
According to the network, Bourdain was in France working on an upcoming episode of his CNNs series. His friend, French chef Eric Ripert, found him unresponsive in his hotel room on Friday morning. His death comes days after fashion designer Kate Spade hanged herself in an apparent suicide.
Bourdain was better known for his writing and television work than he was for his culinary creations. After toiling for years in kitchens around Manhattan and as executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles, Bourdain hit the big time with the 2000 publication of “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly.” The bestseller was hailed by critics for its witty, energetically written look behind-the-scenes of the restaurant industry. The book expanded on a 1999 New Yorker article.
He parlayed his literary success into a gig with Food Network hosting “A Cook’s Tour.” The show introduced Bourdain’s signature programming approach — it followed the chef with the hangdog look, hint of a hangover, and barely disguised five o’clock shadow to exotic ports of call as he sampled local cuisine and introduced viewers to foreign cultures.
It was a concept that Bourdain would revisit to great success on the Travel Channel’s “No Reservations” and “The Layover.” Those programs aired from 2005 to 2013. Bourdain left Travel Channel for CNN, becoming a fixture of the cable news channel’s lineup with “Parts Unknown.” The travel and food series tagged along with Bourdain as he ate grilled pork and noodles with President Barack Obama in Hanoi, examined the legacy of apartheid in Johannesburg, dug into pig ear sandwiches in the Mississippi Delta, and experienced the harvest festival, Gawai Dayak, in Borneo. It was in Borneo that Bourdain was asked and complied with a request from villagers to plunge a spear into the heart of a pig.
In 2013, Peabody Award judges honored Bourdain and “Parts Unknown” for “expanding our palates and horizons in equal measure.”
Often outspoken, with a sharp-elbowed point of view, Bourdain was a critic of sexual harassment in the restaurant industry. He was unafraid to call out chefs he didn’t care for, such as Paula Deen and Guy Fieri, but also effusive in his praise for those he felt were magicians in the kitchen, promoting the likes of José Andrés and Thomas Keller.
(Excerpt) Read More at: Variety.com