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Anthony Bourdain dead: Barack Obama posts touching tribute, Eric Ripert mourns loss of ‘a dear friend’

Anthony Bourdain, the popular chef and Emmy-winning host of CNN's Parts Unknown is dead, the network reported Friday morning. He was 61.

Celebrity chef and CNN host Anthony Bourdain has died, according to the network. He was 61.
Celebrity chef and CNN host Anthony Bourdain has died, according to the network. He was 61. Read moreAP File Photo

Anthony Bourdain, the popular chef and Emmy-winning host of CNN's Parts Unknown, is dead, the network reported Friday morning. He was 61.

According to CNN, the cause of death was suicide. CNN Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter reported that Bourdain, who was in France filming an upcoming episode of Parts Unknown, was found dead in his hotel room by famed chef Eric Ripert, one of Bourdain's closest friends.

"It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain," CNN said in a statement Friday morning. "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."

Bourdain leaves behind his 11-year-old daughter, Ariane, and his ex-wife Ottavia Busia.

>> READ MORE: Finding the courage to talk openly and compassionately about suicide risk

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After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in 1978, Bourdain worked as a line cook before becoming the executive chef in the 1990s at Brasserie Les Halles, a French restaurant in New York City that has since closed.

While working as the restaurant, Bourdain sent an article to the New Yorker exposing trade secrets and the dark underbelly of the restaurant world. That piece, titled "Don't Eat Before Reading This," became the basis of his best-selling book, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly.

"Anthony was a dear friend," Eric Ripert, the owner of the renowned New York City restaurant Le Bernardin who was extremely close friends with Bourdain, told The New York Times. "He was an exceptional human being, so inspiring and generous. One of the great storytellers of our time who connected with so many. I wish him peace. My love and prayers are with his family, friends and loved ones."

Among those reacting publicly to Bourdain's passing was former President Barack Obama, who shared a bowl of noodles and a beer with the host on a 2016 episode of Parts Unknown filmed in Hanoi. Vietnam.

Food Network host Michael Symon wrote that he was shocked and at "a loss for words" over Bourdain's sudden death.

Famed Philadelphia chef and restaurateur Marc Vetri was also left speechless by the news.

"I want to extend to his family my heartfelt condolences. That was very shocking," President Trump told reporters as he left the White House on his way to the G-7 Summit. "When I woke up this morning, Anthony Bourdain is dead. I enjoyed his show. He was quite a character."

Here is more reaction about Bourdain's passing from the culinary world:

Bourdain certainly wasn't a stranger to Philadelphia. During a 2012 episode of his Travel Channel show The Layover, Bourdain made stops at DiBruno Bros., Paesano's in the Italian Market and Marc Vetri's Amis on 13th Street, followed up with a shot of the dirty hot dog water at the Pen & Pencil, a club for journalists and service-industry pros.

"I'll give the nod to Bourdain for taking the shot because if I had taken the hot dog water 15 drinks would have been coming right up," said Brendan Bowne, a Bucks County resident who downed an Irish Bus Bomb with the host on camera.

During the fifth season of Parts Unknown, in an episode focused on New Jersey, Bourdain discovered the "Donkey steak" at Donkey's Place in Camden, which he called "fantastic" and "sublime." The chef said the "Donkey steak" might be better than any cheesesteak he's ever eaten in Philadelphia.

>> READ MORE: Bourdain: 'Best' Philly cheesesteak not from Philly?

Bourdain's death comes just days after fashion designer Kate Spade died of an apparent suicide in her Manhattan apartment on Tuesday. Bourdain was open about his past struggles with drug addiction, telling Reddit users in a 2013 "Ask Me Anything" that during his 20s, he was "selfish, larcenous, druggy, loud, stupid, insensitive and someone you would not want to have known."

How to get help: Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit for a list of additional resources.

"Most people who kick heroin and cocaine have to give up on everything," Bourdain added. "Maybe cause my experiences were so awful in the end, I've never been tempted to relapse."