Recovery Unplugged is deeply saddened to report the death of chef, Emmy–winning TV host and bestselling author Anthony Bourdain. The 61-year-old culinary innovator was found dead of an apparent suicide in France this morning by friend and fellow chef Eric Ripert. After penning the breakthrough memoir Kitchen Confidential, a work that has become a must-read for many aspiring chefs and foodies, Bourdain’s impact on contemporary American culture grew beyond the kitchen and into the most remote destinations. He had an otherworldly ability to use regional cuisine as a catalyst for dialogue, education and worldwide connection. He leaves behind a daughter and legions of admirers around the world.
Anthony Bourdain introduced the world to food’s previously unexplored role in bringing people together, acting as a lens for global education and posing important and sometimes uncomfortable questions about its relationship with history, politics, human rights and economics. From the Midwestern family table to the jungles of Vietnam to the proud and gritty restaurants of New York City, he showed us that food can be just as powerful a unifying force as music; and reinforced this each time he appeared on our televisions. In a world of overnight celebrity chefs and often-ridiculous food-driven fads, Anthony Bourdain discussed food with a singular irreverence and intellect that will be missing henceforth from the culinary conversation.
Bourdain’s suicide appears to be the culmination of years of inner turmoil. As a chef coming up in New York City, he battled heroin addiction for years, an era of his life that he would often sardonically discuss in his books and television shows. He came to prominence as a storyteller and media personality in the latter part of his life; however, for many years, he struggled to find peace and stability. His suicide is a tragic reminder that the pursuit of balanced mental health is a lifelong endeavor and that we must continue to check in with ourselves and ask for support when we’re feeling overwhelmed. Recovery Unplugged wishes Bourdain’s loved ones the strength and courage to get through this unspeakably difficult tragedy. Rest In Peace, chef.