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Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain dead at 61

Anthony Bourdain had been working on an episode of Parts Unknown.

New York

FOOD author and travel host Anthony Bourdain has committed suicide while travelling in France, according to the television network CNN for which he took viewers around the world for his show Parts Unknown. He was 61.

"It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain," the network said in a statement early Friday.

"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."

Bourdain was found dead in his hotel room in Strasbourg by his close friend Eric Ripert, the French executive chef of New York restaurant Le Bernardin, CNN said.

Bourdain had been working on an upcoming episode of Parts Unknown, an Emmy-winning show about travel, food and people. He explored haute cuisine and street food alike in his travels, encouraging viewers to "eat and drink with people without fear and prejudice".

"We ask very simple questions: What makes you happy? What do you eat? What do you like to cook?" Bourdain said in an acceptance speech for a Peabody Award in 2014.

"And everywhere in the world we go and ask these simple questions. We tend to get really astonishing answers."

Bourdain leaves behind teen daughter Ariane, from his relationship with his ex-wife Ottavia Busia. He had been dating Italian actress Asia Argento since 2017.

Bourdain started washing dishes in a restaurant and gradually rose through the ranks to become a chef. His career catapulted him from cooking at New York's top restaurants to dining in Vietnam with President Barack Obama.

His 2000 memoir Kitchen Confidential: Adventures In The Culinary Underbelly kicked off his celebrity career.

"It can't be overemphasised. He has a level of authenticity you don't commonly get with people on TV," astrophysicist and author Neil deGrasse Tyson said on CNN.

Bourdain's death came just days after the suicide of another celebrity, designer Kate Spade. AFP,REUTERS


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