As the tragic news broke earlier today that chef, writer, and travel show host Anthony Bourdain was found dead in his hotel room at age 61, the culinary world woke up in a state of mourning one of its most iconic and distinct voices. Bourdain was in Haut-Rhin, France filming an upcoming episode of his CNN series Parts Unknown and, according to reports, took his own life.
Many chefs and other culinary personalities used social media to express their shock, heartbreak, and to remember the life and impact Bourdain has had on the food industry. Here are some of their reactions:
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Others used the moment to remember and thank Bourdain for his contributions to their personal and professional lives, directly and indirectly through his own work:
Bourdain's debut memoir, Kitchen Confidential, about his time working as a chef at restaurants like New York's Les Halles lifted the cloche on the intense work environment happening behind the scenes at even the poshest eateries. His no-holds-barred writing style made the life of a chef seem at once horrifying and sexy, no doubt encouraging future generations to get into the business. In his later years, he would become outspoken on many issues, both political and professional, including the toxic workplace he wrote about and how that environment fosters the sexual harassment and assault most recently brought to light by the #MeToo movement.
With a willingness to speak without a filter on a variety of topics, along with his passion for all kinds of food, from street meats to fine dining to Popeye's fried chicken, Bourdain amassed a large audience of hungry followers. Combined with his appreciation for and careful spotlighting of domestic and international cuisines in their natural habitats on his travel series, from food carts to Michelin-starred restaurants, it's no wonder his passing is felt deeply in the food world and beyond.