Anthony Bourdain Dead: Andrew Zimmern, Sandra Lee, and More Chefs Pay Tribute

Anthony Bourdain died at the age of 61 on Friday, June 8, and his death shocked many of his colleagues and friends in the food world, as well as an array of celebrity and other admirers worldwide.

The celebrated chef and TV personality was found unresponsive in his hotel room in Strasbourg, France, where he was shooting an upcoming episode of his CNN travel and food show, Parts Unknown. According to the cable news network, which reported his death as a suicide, Bourdain was found by close friend and fellow celebrity chef Eric Ripert.

In a statement to Us Weekly, 53-year-old Ripert, who appeared with Bourdain on many of his shows, called him a “dear friend.”

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Chefs Andrew Zimmern and Anthony Bourdain attend the Chase Sapphie Card Launch at Weather Room at Top of the Rock on October 22, 2009 in New York City. Ben Hider/Getty Images

Bizarre Foods With Andrew Zimmern host Andrew Zimmern, who was a friend of Bourdain’s tells Us, “This morning, I woke to learn of the passing of my friend, Anthony Bourdain. We had much in common personally, not the least of which was the shared mission to learn about cultures around the world through food. Tony was the smartest, funniest of friends, perpetually curious and endlessly charming. There were few people with whom I shared more of myself with and I always relied on his sagacity and insight as a great barometer of whatever my next move would be. Tony’s life has been endlessly chronicled and he was recently blessed with and lightened by a new love, making it all the more difficult to reconcile this devastating loss.”

Zimmern adds that his “heart and profound condolences go out to Tony’s family” including the “three wonderful women in his life, especially his amazing daughter.”

“I only wish a different ending could have been written for one of the world’s most gifted storytellers,” the 56-year-old TV personality continued. “Out of respect for all of his friends and family I think it best to leave it there for now and let’s remember all the joy he brought us over the years. I will miss him very much.”

In yet another moving tribute, chef and author Sandra Lee tells Us she was “shocked” to learn of Bourdain’s passing and praised his fiery personality. “Anthony was a larger than life personality with so much talent. He was a gifted, smart, articulate man and even though he could be incredibly critical, especially of me, somehow that was part of his charm,” the 51-year-old shared. “The food entertainment business is a family and every member has their place with a unique personality; we all have a voice within our family and we always stick together. That does not mean we always agree or get along but we all truly love and adore one another no matter what. I am so very sad. The Food and Entertainment family has lost their bad boy and he will be greatly missed.”

Fellow celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay took to Twitter early Friday to express his shock. “Stunned and saddened by the loss of Anthony Bourdain,” the MasterChef host, 51, wrote. “He brought the world into our homes and inspired so many people to explore cultures and cities through their food. Remember that help is a phone call away US: 1-800-273-TALK UK: 116 123.”

Hours later, Ramsay shared a “vintage clip” of Bourdain visiting his Gordon Ramsay Restaurant in London.

In a lengthy Instagram post, famed chef Thomas Keller wrote, in part, “Tony was a force in the kitchen and beyond. He was cool and irreverent. His curiosity was infectious. He made us more curious too.”

Also on Instagram, chef Richard Blais wrote, in part, “So many of us lost a sense of balance today. My heart goes out to those who knew [Tony] him well, his family, friends, crew and fans.”

See more chef tributes to Bourdain below.

 

If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).