Anthony Bourdain, the chef, author, and TV host who circled the globe in search of the next great meal, has died at 61, CNN reports. The network says it has confirmed that the cause is suicide.
Bourdain has been a regular presence on TV sets for most of the 21st century, but he rose to fame through his book Kitchen Confidential, a confessional in which he captured the imaginations of restaurantgoers by depicting himself as a swaggering, bad-boy chef in a wild, sometimes hostile industry. In the years that followed, he hosted A Cook’s Tour on the Food Network, Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations on the Travel Channel, and finally Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown for CNN, which he was still hosting when he died. On each show, he sought out local and often less glamorous cuisine at sometimes obscure locations, giving viewers a sense that he would not shrink before any dish.
While Bourdain was known for his machismo, he has more recently, since the rise of the #MeToo movement and his relationship with actress, director, and Harvey Weinstein accuser Asia Argento, arisen as an outspoken critic of sexism in the men-dominated food industry. In 2017, he gave an interview to Slate reflecting on what he could have done differently, saying, “I’ve had to ask myself, and I have been for some time, ‘To what extent in that book did I provide validation to meatheads?’ ”
CNN writes that he was in France working on a new episode of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown when he was found dead on Friday morning.