Celebrity chef, globe-trotting host of such shows as No Reservations and Parts Unknown, and author of the Vertigo graphic novel Get Jiro!, Anthony Bourdain, has passed away at the age of 61.
“It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain,” CNN said in a statement. The network confirmed that suicide was the cause of death.
He had been in Strasbourg, France, working on an episode of the Emmy Award-winning CNN series, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. The network said his body was found in his hotel room by French chef and close friend Eric Ripert.
Bourdain, who was born in New York and grew up in the suburbs of New Jersey, graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 1978. After working in several kitchens, he gained recognition from Kitchen Confidential, which described in vivid detail the dark and drug-fueled world that dwelled within the industry and among those working in the trenches.
Back in 2012, Bourdain wrote the graphic novel Get Jiro! for Vertigo Comics. It’s touted as a stylized send-up of food culture and society that features spectacular detailed and dynamic art by Langdon Foss. The synopsis is as such: In a not-too-distant future of food obsessed L.A., where master chefs rule the town like crime lords and people literally kill for a seat at the best restaurant, Jiro, a renegade and ruthless sushi chef arrives in town with strong ideas of his own. It’s a bloody culinary war of epic proportions, and in the end, no chef may be left alive!
That sounds spectacular, but it doesn’t end there. Three years later, Bourdain released a prequel to the hit book, titled Get Jiro: Blood and Sushi. This book examines the origins of the mysterious Jiro and what made him into the chef he has become. Born the heir to a Yakuza crime family, Jiro never longed to travel the criminal path laid out before him, but instead chose to secretly study the rich culinary history of his homeland—something that would have significant repercussions if discovered by his gangster father! And as Jiro’s interest in the culinary arts deepens, the challenge of keeping his artistic and criminal worlds separate becomes too great, triggering a great personal loss that will forever change Jiro’s path.
This is a devastating loss to the cooking world, the comic book world, and the world in general. Bourdain has been an inspiration to so many people, and I hope that his legacy will live on for a very long time.
And remember, if you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please reach out. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has trained counselors who are ready to listen and help, and they’re only a phone call or text away.
Call: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
Text CONNECT to 741741
Or visit the website at: www.SuicidePreventionLifeline.org
There is help. There is hope. You are not alone.