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.”
A deep thank you to your work, honesty, and words. To the man who showed the word “the life”, may you Rest In Peace. May we all take a moment and hug the people we love, not take for granted what we have, find joy in the day to day, and make another person smile. We will miss you chef. You are one of a kind.
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.”
To Anthony Bourdain, food was a conduit to understanding people. Sharing a table was a way to find common ground. To connect. He inspired all of us to create food that spurs curiosity&conversation. He leaves a gaping hole in the culinary world that will be felt for a long time. pic.twitter.com/328paacec5— Hai Hospitality (@HaiHospitality) June 8, 2018
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.
Absolutely heartbreaking. I’ve always admired him as both a culinarian and as a wordsmith. So true that the most brilliant of us have the most persuasive demons. #RIPBourdain (US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255) https://t.co/n7vE6Uf6vp— ℭ. . ℭ (@seekaychin) June 8, 2018
Devastated. @Bourdain taught me to be unapologetic about my passions and to speak freely about my beliefs. His masterful use of language and eloquence quite literally turned food into poetry. His defiance against conformity remains as a benchmark in my life. #RIPBourdain pic.twitter.com/cXt5FM0Vvj— ℭ. . ℭ (@seekaychin) June 8, 2018
Texas Monthly Barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn is “gutted,” and shared the story of how Bourdain came to publish his book on a chance.
He didn’t know me from Adam, but took a chance to publish a blogger’s book on Texas BBQ and forever changed the trajectory of my life. I owe him so much. I will miss him and his work.— Daniel Vaughn (@BBQsnob) June 8, 2018
My wife and I binge watched the whole last season of Parts Unknown a few weekends ago and marveled at how every one of them drew us in. I wanted to tell Tony how much we enjoyed it, but I didn’t out of fear of sounding like a kiss-ass.— Daniel Vaughn (@BBQsnob) June 8, 2018
The book we worked on together published 5 years ago. I’ve always felt guilty for not making the first book he did a best seller, but he was only supportive. The highlight of my performance life was introducing him to an audience at the Majestic in Dallas.— Daniel Vaughn (@BBQsnob) June 8, 2018
We ate a brisket I smoked for him in the green room. We talked about our kids, and how he was happiest in New York cooking pancakes for his daughter. I weep for her. Depression is viscous. I’ll miss you, Tony.— Daniel Vaughn (@BBQsnob) June 8, 2018
La Barbecue called Bourdain “truly an inspiration.”
We are so saddened by this news!! He was truly an inspiration!! https://t.co/31OiQf3oTB— la Barbecue (@la_Barbecue) June 8, 2018
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.
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.
2012, last 'busy' night of SXSW, last table, last straw for the entire team (We were all very tired and needed a rest). He ate with The Shins and The National. He did not hesitate to say hello and actually hang with us for a few moments. We asked him after the meal. This is the person that helped my parents understand why in the hell I wanted to be in the kitchen all my waking moments. He helped highlight the other side of it all and progressed the ideals of what the modern hospitality industry was up to. My current sous chef now told him that night, straight up, you made me wanna cook, not be a chef, but a cook. This picture will always be a great memory and the people in it made it so awesome. We almost all got in a verbal spat this service, but cooking for our champion Anthony Bourdain wiped all that away. He was our voice, our reason, our mentor, our trailblazer. So much more can be said, but may all the dishes we cook today be a reminder that life is precious and we all have a purpose, cook hard today! Peace be with you and thank you chef.
Vaquero Taquero thanked Bourdain for being “the voice for all immigrants in the kitchens.”
Rest In Power, Compadre. We will never forget the countless times you were the voice for all immigrants in the kitchens and thank you once more for so. We are greatly sad that you've left us but grateful for your existence. “Despite our ridiculously hypocritical attitudes towards immigration, we demand that Mexicans cook a large percentage of the food we eat, grow the ingredients we need to make that food, clean our houses, mow our lawns, wash our dishes, look after our children. As any chef will tell you, our entire service economy—the restaurant business as we know it—in most American cities, would collapse overnight without Mexican workers. Some, of course, like to claim that Mexicans are ‘stealing American jobs.’ But in two decades as a chef and employer, I never had ONE American kid walk in my door and apply for a dishwashing job, a porter’s position—or even a job as prep cook. Mexicans do much of the work in this country that Americans, probably, simply won’t do. In nearly 30 years of cooking professionally, just about every time I walked into a new kitchen, it was a Mexican guy who looked after me, had my back, showed me what was what, was there—and on the case—when the cooks more like me, with backgrounds like mine—ran away to go skiing or surfing—or simply flaked,” -Anthony Bourdain #rip #laguerrerense #anthonybourdain
Foreign & Domestic extended simple gratitude.
Guild sous chef Hannah Yerby shared a Bourdain quote and how Kitchen Confidential inspired her.
I’ve felt sick to my stomach all morning. Like many young cooks, I read Kitchen Confidential early in my career and in spite of it felt invincible. Thank you, chef, for the lessons, honesty, and humor along the way. Our industry family is feeling this one deeply today, and for whatever a social media post is worth these days, don’t be afraid to reach out for help or support. For all the tough veneers, we need each other - hold on to the people close to you, and let them know they are loved.
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.