Fans flood social media to remember Anthony Bourdain’s wit and fearless food explorations

People walk past a billboard for the CNN television show "Parts Unknown" with American celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, Friday, June 8, 2018 in Atlanta. Bourdain, 61, was found dead Friday in his hotel room in France while working on the series which features culinary traditions around the world.
John Bazemore/Associated Press
People walk past a billboard for the CNN television show "Parts Unknown" with American celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain in Atlanta.

News of the suicide of celebrity chef and author Anthony Bourdain unleashed a wave of shock and despair on social media from fans around the world.

Former president Barack Obama, who was featured in an episode of “Parts Unknown” in which the two men shared a meal in Vietnam, tweeted a photo of their meeting Friday, remembering Bourdain as someone who made viewers “a little less afraid of the unknown.”

Before departing for the G-7 Summit in Canada on Friday morning, President Trump spoke to the press on a variety of topics including trade policy, tariffs, and pardons, but also took a moment to express his sympathies to Bourdain’s family.


“I want to extend to his family my heartfelt condolences,” Trump said.

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CNN’s Jake Tapper stuck mainly to the facts, outlining the early reports of Bourdain’s death in France, where the chef-author was filming a new episode of his television show. Tapper posted to Twitter, “This is so awful. Anthony Bourdain, 61, has died. He took his own life.” He noted that Bourdain’s friend and frequent TV companion, chef Eric Ripert, discovered him unresponsive in a hotel room on Friday.

Celebrity chef and “MasterChef” television personality Gordon Ramsay tweeted that he was “stunned and saddened” by the news and focused on Bourdain’s influence, and how his globetrotting explorations introduced viewers to food and cultures around world. Ramsay also include suicide hotline information in the tweet.

Chef David Chang, founder of Momofuku and host of the Netflix series “Ugly Delicious,” which also explores the insection of cuisine and culture, posted a simple and mournful black screen to Instagram. Alongside were lyrics by songwriter Will Oldham from the song “I See a Darkness.” While the post didn’t mention Bourdain by name it seemed to refer to the loss.

Well, I hope that someday, buddy


We have peace in our lives

Together or apart

Alone or with our wives

And we can stop our whoring

And pull the smiles inside


And light it up forever

And never go to sleep

My best unbeaten brother

This isn’t all I see

— Will Oldham

Food writer and television personality Nigella Lawson tweeted simply: “Heartbroken to hear about Tony Bourdain’s death. Unbearable for his family and girlfriend. Am going off twitter for a while.”

“Hamilton” creator Lin-Manual Miranda posted about Bourdain as a writer. The witty and sardonic Bourdain first broke into the mainstream with his edgy, behind-the-scenes tales from the restaurant scene, some of which became the basis for his bestselling 2000 book, “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly.”

Model and social media personality Chrissy Teigen posted an emotional statement to Twitter about the influence that Bourdain — and his writing — had on her.

“Anthony. One of my idols. Unapologetic, passionate and one of the best storytellers on the planet. Thank you for making food so exciting. And always standing up for everything right. Horrible. Why why why. Be at peace now :(”

Hayley Kaufman can be reached at