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Anthony Bourdain Dead at 61

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The culinary world was rocked Friday morning when news broke that celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain committed suicide. Bourdain, just 61-years-old, was on assignment, filming an upcoming episode of his CNN show Parts Unknown. Bourdain was found by a close friend, Éric Ripert, dead in his hotel room.

“It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain,” CNN wrote in a statement.

“His love of great adventure, new friends, fine food and drink and the remarkable stories of the world made him a unique storyteller. His talents never ceased to amaze us and we will miss him very much. Our thoughts and prayers are with his daughter and family at this incredibly difficult time.”

CNN President Jeff Zucker noted that “Tony was an exceptional talent. Tony will be greatly missed not only for his work but also for the passion with which he did it.”

Bourdain is survived by his 11-year-old daughter, Ariane.

“I was 50 when I became a father of a little girl,” Bourdain told reporters about being a parent. “I was finally old enough to be qualified for the job. Ariane has me wrapped around her finger.”

“All I can realistically hope for is that she feels loved. That she has high self-esteem. And good martial-arts skills.”

“Bourdain was born in New York City in 1956, and was raised in New Jersey by French music executive Pierre Bourdain and his wife Gladys, a staff editor at the New York Times,” The Daily Mail notes. “He credited summers spent in France as a child with his obsession with food.”

Though he hadn’t publicly talked about struggles with depression, he was very public about his drug use and struggles with addiction.

After dropping out of college, Bourdain began working in Manhattan restaurants. The chaos of the kitchen spoke to Bourdain, who admitted he also thrived under the strict rules and leadership of notable chefs.

When he published a memoir in 2000, Bourdain rocketed to stardom. “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly” took readers behind-the-scenes of famous restaurants, and also detailed his own problems with addiction.

For the last few years, Bourdain had been the host of Parts Unknown on CNN, a show that combined extreme travel with culinary anthropology.