The tragic end of Anthony Bourdain, how did America’s most beloved travel guide die?
Anthony Michael Bourdain, known for his bestselling book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the culinary underworld (2000), who died in 2018 while filming in France, for Unknown parts. His death shocked America as Anthony was America’s most beloved chef and travel guide. So what happened? Read on to discover the story of this beautiful human who lived an incredible life, but met a tragic end.
Bourdain’s brilliant career
As a renowned chef, author and travel documentary filmmaker, Anthony Michael Bourdain has lived his full life traveling the world. He has starred in programs focusing on international culture, the human condition, and cuisine.
Anthony is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and has remained a veteran of many professional kitchens. For example, he spent significant years as executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles in Manhattan. Anthony has been recognized for his bestselling book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underworld.
The Manhattan-born celebrity chef’s first meal and global TV show “A Cook’s Tour” aired 35 episodes over two years (2002-2003) on the “Food Network.” His career kicked off when he hosted “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations” (2005-2012) and “The Layover” (2011-2013).
In 2013, Anthony appeared as a judge on The Taste, an American cooking-themed reality competition series 0, for three consecutive seasons. Subsequently, he switched his travelogue programming to CNN and hosted “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.”
Antoine as a writer…
Besides food writing and television presentations, Anthony Bourdain was well known for historical fiction and non-fiction. As part of his writing career, he started unsolicited work for Between C&D, which was an 80s literary magazine. He published an article by Bourdain about a chef trying to buy heroin in the Lower East Side.
Bourdain also signed up for a writing workshop with Gordon Lish, a renowned American writer. Anthony’s first book “Bone in the Throat”, a culinary mystery was published in 1995. The book did not do well. His second book “Gone Bamboo” also remained unsuccessful.
Finally, in 2000, Anothony wrote a New York timethe best seller Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underworld. In 2010, he published a follow-up memoir to this book titled Medium Raw: A bloody valentine for the food world and the people who cook. Bourdain’s other books include:
- Visit of a cook
- The bad bits
- Typhoid Mary: An Urban History
- Without reservation: around the world on an empty stomach
A culinary bad boy…
In addition to his culinary career, he practiced the martial art Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and earned a blue belt in August 2015. FYI, Anthony also won gold at the IBJJF New York Spring International Open Championship in 2016.
Many news outlets have called Anthony a “culinary bad boy” for his sexual references and use of profanity on his TV shows. He was known to consume exotic delicacies such as “blood sausages” in Finland, sheep testicles in Morocco, raw seal eyeballs, a whole cobra in Vietnam, and ant eggs in Mexico.
Anthony once said he had eaten an unwashed warthog rectum in Namibia and a fermented shark in Iceland, and both were the worst meals of his life. The man known for his extravagant lifestyle and knowledge of international culture has had a troubled past. Well, it may be related to his suicide in 2018. So what exactly happened to Anthony? This is a story to read further.
How did Anthony Bourdain die?
Anthony Bordain was found dead on June 8, 2018 at Le Chambard hotel in Kaysersberg-Vignoble, France. Anthony’s body was discovered by fellow chef Eric Ripert, who was filming an episode of Anthony’s travel show “Parts Unknown” alongside him.
Antoine was my best friend. An exceptional human being, so inspiring & generous. One of the great storytellers who connected with so many people. I pray for his peace from the bottom of my heart. My love and prayers also go out to his family, friends and loved ones. pic.twitter.com/LbIeZK14ia
— Eric Ripert (@ericripert) June 8, 2018
By the time Ripert found it, it was too late because America’s most beloved travel guide had already committed suicide at the age of 61. It was later revealed that Anthony Bourdain used a belt from his bathrobe to kill himself. So why did he kill himself? Well, the reason has to do with his troubled past.
Bourdain was a heavy smoker. Well, he followed a two-pack-a-day routine. In fact, it was once served with a 20-course tasting, many of which included a mid-meal “coffee and cigarette,” fole gras mousse, and tobacco-infused coffee custard. Bourdain, however, quit smoking for his daughter but started again towards the end of her life.
Not only that, Anthony developed an addiction to heroin and other drugs like cocaine and LSD. He once revealed that “Drugs influenced my decisions and I sent a busboy to Alphabet City to get cannabis, methaqualone, cocaine, LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, secobarbital, tuinal, amphetamine , codeine and heroin.”
Well, that was when he was 20. He later quit drugs thinking it might have killed him very soon. Although he recovered from his heroin addiction, Bourdain continued to struggle with mental health issues. We don’t know what was on his mind during his final hours, but many of his friends weren’t surprised after hearing the news of his suicide.
Bourdain’s mother, however, said The New York Times: “He is absolutely the last person in the world that I would have ever dreamed would do something like this.” But again, there are a lot of good things to miss about Anthony Bourdain.
Upon his death, CNN released a statement saying that Bourdain “Talents have never ceased to amaze us and he will be greatly missed. Not only that, former president Barack Obama, who recalled his dinner with Bourdain in Vietnam on “Parts Unknown”, wrote on Twitter: “He taught us about food, but more importantly, his ability to bring us together. To make us a little less afraid of the unknown.
Anthony Bourdain had become the toast of the town for his honest portrayal of the culture, people and cuisine. That’s why he is missed by his global legion of fans. There is a “Roadrunner” documentary about his life. Well, it’s worth watching.