By KIM SEVERSON, MATTHEW HAAG and ALISSA J. RUBIN
© 2018 New York Times News Service
Travel host Anthony Bourdain, whose madcap memoir about the dark corners of New York’s restaurants made him into a celebrity chef and touched off a nearly two-decade career as a globe-trotting television host, was found dead Friday at 61.
Bourdain had traveled to Strasbourg in France, near the country’s border with Germany, with a television production crew to record an episode of his show “Parts Unknown” on CNN, the network said. “It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague,” CNN said in a statement.
The U.S. Embassy in Paris also confirmed his death.
“Anthony was a dear friend,” Eric Ripert, a celebrity chef and restaurateur who appeared with Bourdain on several of his shows, told The New York Times. “He was an exceptional human being, so inspiring and generous. One of the great storytellers of our time who connected with so many. I wish him peace.”
In everything he did, Bourdain cultivated a renegade style and bad-boy persona.
For decades, he worked 13-hour days as a line cook in restaurants in New York and the Northeast before he became executive chef in the 1990s at Brasserie Les Halles, serving steak frites and onion soup in lower Manhattan. He had been an executive chef for eight years when he sent an unsolicited article to The New Yorker about the underbelly of the restaurant world and its deceptions.
To his surprise, the magazine accepted it and ran it — catching the attention of book editors. It resulted in “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly,” a memoir that elevated Bourdain to a celebrity chef and a new career on TV.
Before he joined CNN in 2012, he spent eight seasons as the globe-trotting host of “No Reservations” on the Travel Channel.
Anthony Michael Bourdain was born June 25, 1956, the oldest son of Pierre Bourdain, who was an executive in the classical-music recording industry, and Gladys Bourdain, who was a longtime copy editor at The New York Times. He grew up outside New York City, in Leonia, New Jersey, and his parents exposed him to fine cuisine, taking him often to France.
Bourdain’s first marriage ended in divorce in 2005. In 2007, he married Ottavia Busia, who appeared in several episodes of “No Reservations,” and they had a daughter, Ariane, who is 11. The couple divorced in 2016. He had been dating actor Asia Argento for about two years.
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