With the tragic and premature passing of Anthony Bourdain, the world has lost a vital, maverick voice at the heart of mainstream media. The hugely popular celebrity chef, television personality and author was found dead on Friday morning in a hotel room in Strasbourg, France, where he was filming an upcoming episode of his award-winning CNN series Parts Unknown. He was 61. Bourdain’s death has been widely reported as an apparent suicide.

His passing brought endless waves of distraught condolences and joyful remembrances across social media to mourn and celebrate a deeply revered, larger-than-life figure. Bourdain’s untimely death was especially painful as it came just three days after the apparent suicide of iconic fashion designer Kate Spade.


“#AnthonyBourdain was everything I hoped he’d be in real life: smart AF but humble, kind and even goofy. And a man with a huge heart,” Orange County–based journalist Gustavo Arellano tweeted as part of a larger thread in tribute to Bourdain. Arellano appeared alongside Bourdain in a 2017 episode of Parts Unknown.

Bourdain’s show twice visited Los Angeles, where he shunned the white-tablecloth eateries of Beverly Hills and Hollywood in favor of exploring the city’s Latino communities (in 2017) and Koreatown (in 2013). His 2018 “Little Los Angeles” micro-series for his Parts Unknown website extolled the oft-overlooked joys of dining in Little Armenia, Little Britain, Tehrangeles, Little Ethiopia and Little Guatemala, and of Filipino fare in the city’s Chinatown.

Continuing a style of off-the-beaten-path foodie/culture journalism for which he credited Pulitzer Prize–winning former L.A. Weekly food critic Jonathan Gold as a pioneer, Bourdain was equally comfortable and enthusiastic scouring L.A.’s strip malls and street vendors for best-kept culinary secrets as he was sharing a leisurely dinner with then–President Barack Obama (as seen on Parts Unknown in 2016).