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Austin Chefs React to the Death of Anthony Bourdain

Chefs, hospitality industry members, and others share their sadness and gratitude for the outspoken food icon

Anthony Bourdain at the New Yorker Festival in 2017
Anthony Bourdain at the New Yorker Festival in 2017
Craig Barritt/Getty Images for The New Yorker
Nadia Chaudhury is the editor of Eater Austin covering food and pop culture, as well as a photographer, writer, and frequent panel moderator and podcast guest.

Anthony Bourdain, the notable chef, author, and television host, has died at the age of 61. CNN reported that he was found “unresponsive” in his hotel room in France this morning by his friend, chef Eric Ripert. The cause of death is reported to be suicide.

Austin chefs and industry people have been sharing their tributes, recollections, and favorite quotes from the outspoken rock-star chef this morning:

Pitmaster John Mueller of Black Box Barbecue in Georgetown shared the following:

I was a big fan of work. Was a great honor to meet him and hear his thoughts on different foods including Texas barbecue. We had a great time that day. He will be missed

New Waterloo’s Amanda Rockman remembered when Bourdain gave her advice that led her down her culinary path, “advice [that] altered my life forever.”

Emmer & Rye’s Page Pressley shared “a deep thank you to [his] work, honesty, and words.”

Hai Hospitality (parent company to Uchi, Uchiko, and Loro) talked about how Bourdain understood that “food was a conduit to understanding people” and that his death “leaves a gaping hole in the culinary world that will be felt for a long time.”

Wu Chow and Swift Attic’s C.K. Chin “admired him as both a culinarian and as a wordsmith,” adding that Bourdain taught him to embrace what he really wants.

Texas Monthly Barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn is “gutted,” and shared the story of how Bourdain came to publish his book on a chance.

La Barbecue called Bourdain “truly an inspiration.”

Barbecue restaurant Stiles Switch BBQ shared a simple remark.

Holly Roller’s Callie Speer shared a photo of Bourdain and Iggy Pop with his quote about how travel changes you.

Puli-Ra’s Deepa Shridhar thanks Bourdain for “all you did for us.” She’s even serving specials this weekend inspired by him.

ELM Restaurant Group chef Andrew Curren shared an Ernest Hemingway quote.

“Time is the least thing we have of.” Ernest Hemingway #thankyou #rip

A post shared by Chef Drew Curren (@chefdrewcurren) on

Fukumoto’s Kazu Fukumoto, who cooked at Bourdain’s punk rock karaoke contest during South by Southwest 2016, said he was “an inspiration to us.”

LeRoy & Lewis pitmaster Evan LeRoy wrote about Bourdain opened a world of food for him:

Small Victory’s Josh Loving called Bourdain “an amazing teacher and an inspiration.”

La Condesa executive chef Rick Lopez recounted when Bourdain ate at the restaurant with musical bands The Shins and The National, and he came back into the kitchen to chat in 2012.

Vaquero Taquero thanked Bourdain for being “the voice for all immigrants in the kitchens.”

Foreign & Domestic extended simple gratitude.

Thank you chef.

A post shared by Foreign & Domestic (@fndaustin) on

Guild sous chef Hannah Yerby shared a Bourdain quote and how Kitchen Confidential inspired her.

Justine’s Brassiere admired Bourdain’s spirit, that was “unconventional, punk rock, kind, and inspiring.”

Nickel City is honoring Bourdain with its marquee signage: Pursue Happiness

If you or anyone you know is considering suicide or self-harm or is anxious, depressed, upset, or needs to talk, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text the Crisis Text Line at 741-741. For international resources, here is a good place to begin.

This post will be updated as other tributes are posted.