Friday, June 8, 2018

Chef StoryTeller Anthony Bourdain dead at 61 from Suicide

Just days after designer Kate Spade was found dead in her apartment from an apparent suicide, famous chef and television personality Anthony Bourdain was discovered by his friend Eric Ripert, who is a chef himself.  He hung himself to death at the Chambard Hotel in Strasbourg, France.

Bourdain was there filming an episode for his "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown" show. He is survived by his daughter of 11 years of age and his girl friend Asia Argento.  Not much details are out as to why he would have done this. However, some are speculating that he was suffering from depression or was affected by a news report showing photographs of his girl friend Asia Argento with journalist Hugo Clement holding hands and embracing while in Rome, Italy.

Argento issued this statement:

 "Anthony gave all of himself in everything that he did. His brilliant, fearless spirit touched and inspired so many, and his generosity knew no bounds. He was my love, my rock, my protector. I am beyond devastated. My thoughts are with his family. I would ask that you respect their privacy and mine."

Anthony Bourdain was born in New York City on June 25, 1956. In 1978, he graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and worked in many restaurants, particularly at Brasserie Les Halles in Manhattan, New York. He struggled financially for a while and became an addict. After bouncing back, he wrote a book in 2000 entitled Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly. The book became and instant bestseller and brought his name to the public. He would land a gig on the Travel Channel hosting the cultural show Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations from 2005-2012, the Layover from 2011-2013 and moved to CNN to host Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. In this show, he would visit areas around the world which are often ignored by the travel agency business. He would meet the locals, talk to them, investigate their culture and customs and would have meals with them. These meals reflected the culinary culture of the region. Bourdain was an outspoken advocate for women in the restaurant business who have faced sexual harassment and advocated for a better restuarant industry by calling for better hygiene, professionalism and better treatment of Spanish-speaking illegal immigrants who are often employed at restaurants.

I particularly enjoyed the episodes Bourdain produced in The Bronx, Sicily and Puerto Rico. These episodes showcased the culture of the region and food. In the Bronx episode, he visited a Spanish restuarant I know well on 188 street. I have eaten there before with friends, specifically with my friend from St. Nicholas of Tolentine parish nearby. She calls the place, "The Cuchifrito Place." Bourdain is an excellent job showcasing the people and the food of the Bronx. He visited many areas and highlighted the art, music and diversity found in the Bronx. I will be forever grateful to him for presenting the Bronx in a good light. The Bronx is often portrayed as an area infested with bad things. While not perfect, its portrayal on television is highly exaggerated.

Former president, Barrack Obama took to Twitter to offer his condolences and memories of when both shared beers and a meal in Vietnam. Anthony Bourdain will be greatly missed. No one should judge him or where his soul ended up. We just do not know the state of his mind as he hung himself.  According to Celebatheists, Bourdain was an atheist. He was raised in a Jewish-Catholic home but was not given religious instruction.  Studies show that atheists have one of the highest rates of suicide.

May Anthony Bourdain, through the mercy of God, rest in peace!

If you reading this feel suicidal or know someone who does, seek help immediately. Do not hesitate to contact Suicide Prevent or messaging me:



  1. Two media/celebrity suicides in one week. This has been a rough time - - - much moreso for those who were close to them.

    Neither person was 'on my radar.' I've learned about them from reading retrospectives on their lives and careers. Given what they've done to date, I think we all lost something - and someone - when they died.

    Good discussion - and good idea, including the Suicide Prevention Lifeline. I haven't used it - partly because I learned how to deal with suicidal impulses long before such things were available. And that's another topic.

    1. I was always aware of Bourdain. His shows were interesting. I loved his programs. He introduced us to different cultures from a local's perspective. The world will be different without him. He had many "demons" in his life. Too bad no one in his life really reached out to force him to get help.


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