Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, the host of CNN’s Parts Unknown, has committed suicide at the age of 61.
Bourdain, who was in France filming a segment for his show, was discovered unresponsive in his hotel room Friday morning by Eric Ripert, a close friend of the chef.
“It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain,” CNN said in a statement Friday. Senior media correspondent Brian Stelter reports that Bourdain hung himself.
“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.”
The chef, married twice, leaves behind an 11-year-old daughter, Ariane.
After dropping out of Vassar College two years into his degree, Bourdain worked in restaurants in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The young chef would go on to graduate from the Culinary Institute of America.
Bourdain shot to fame after publishing his best-selling memoir Kitchen Confidential and became one of the world’s most famous chefs after starring in the television show’s Cook’s Tour and No Reservations.
The book detailed his life as a young chef in the gritty underbelly of the culinary world while battling drug addiction. “All I can tell you is this: I got off of heroin in the 1980s… There are a lot of guys that didn’t get that far,” he told Eater in 2016.
Bourdain won a Peabody award in 2013 for his work on Parts Unknown. In his acceptance speech, Bourdain explained the genesis of the show.
“We ask very simple questions: What makes you happy? What do you eat? What do you like to cook? And everywhere in the world we go and ask these very simple questions.
“We tend to get some really astonishing answers.”
Bourdain was dating Italian actress Asia Argento, who accused movie producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment. Bourdain addressed the controversy by accusing director Quentin Tarantino of giving away his soul to work with Weinstein, blasting him for “a life of complicity and shame and compromise.”