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US celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain dies in France at 61

© Craig Barritt/Getty Images North America/AFP | Chef Anthony Bourdain speaks onstage at New York Society for Ethical Culture on October 7, 2017, in New York City.

Video by Bryan QUINN

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2018-06-09

American celebrity chef and food critic Anthony Bourdain has committed suicide in France at the age of 61, according to CNN. Bourdain took viewers around the world for his popular “Parts Unknown” series on the US television network.

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

Bourdain had hanged himself, CNN said. He was found dead in a hotel room in Kaysersberg-Vignoble, in eastern France, where he had been working on an upcoming episode of his programme, the network added.

“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 said.

Bourdain’s profile began to soar in 1999, when the New Yorker magazine published his article “Don’t Eat Before Reading This,” which he developed into the 2000 book, “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly".

He went on to host television programmes, first on the Food Network and the Travel Channel before joining CNN in 2013.

CNN anchors struggled to hold back tears as they recalled their late colleague in heartfelt recollections and urged people faced with despair, or who know people who are struggling with depression, to call a suicide hotline.

Chef Gordon Ramsay tweeted he was stunned and saddened. Ramsay wrote that Bourdain "brought the world into our homes and inspired so many people to explore cultures".

"Bizarre Foods" host Andrew Zimmern wrote that a "piece of my heart is truly broken." Zimmern said, "The sad cruel irony is that the last year he'd never been happier."

Bourdain’s death was the second suicide this week of a high-profile American figure. Designer Kate Spade, who built a fashion empire on her signature handbags, was found dead in her New York apartment on Tuesday.

Suicide rates rose in nearly every US state from 1999 to 2016, according to figures released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and REUTERS)

Date created : 2018-06-08

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