In Shock: Anthony Bourdain Dead

By Karen

I JUST heard this two minutes ago on Morning Joe, words I never expected to write: Anthony Bourdain has apparently committed suicide.

According to CNN, he was in France filming an episode of Parts Unknown with his best friend, Eric Ripert. It was Ripert who found Bourdain in his hotel room, unresponsive.

No other details seem available right now, but they will surely come out.

The question all of us who have followed Tony over the years, even back when he personally monitored every mention of himself on the ‘net and discovered Cats Working, are asking is:


I’m posting this immediately so any Bourdainiacs who are still reading this blog may have a place to comment and discuss this tragic turn of events.

As for myself, I sit here sweating, with chills, on the verge of tears, thinking of Ariane and Ottavia, and trying to wrap my head around the fact that the world suddenly has this big, premature Bourdain-shaped hole in it.

I don’t have the words. I’ve continued to follow him and have some thoughts about things I’ve seen or read recently, but they can wait. This is a day to grieve.


58 Responses to In Shock: Anthony Bourdain Dead

  1. Tracy Moses says:

    Karen, I’m with you on this. Just sitting here in shock and can’t stop the tears. I found your blog because of him and now follow it for your entertaining and insightful political commentary.

    This is just not something I ever saw coming although no one truly knows what’s going on in someone’s life. My first thought was his daughter and how tragic this is for her. Also, how devastating for Eric Ripert as well.

    My husband looks like Tony’s fraternal twin brother and I’ll never forget the time we went to his New York Food and Wine Festival roast. On the way to our car we found ourselves within feet of Eric and Tony and I literally had my mouth open to ask him for a photo with my husband but he ducked into his car before I could get the words out.

    I always thought someday I would have another opportunity. Now I would just settle for still having him on the planet!

  2. Nancy E. says:

    I have not been here for years, after my own Bourdain crush dissoved away, but I thought of you instantly this morning, and wanted to come and share my condolences. What a shock, and yes, how sad for his daughter. Sending kind thoughts your way.

  3. catsworking says:

    Tracy, I’m still sitting here, trembling at the keyboard, trying to come to grips with the reality (finality) of it. I did just learn that he was in Strasbourg, France. France was a place where he had happy childhood memories, so maybe he felt it represented a full circle.

    His daughter Ariane just turned 11 in April.

    I haven’t had any Bourdain encounters since he came to Richmond, Va., several years ago, but I always thought we’d somehow, somewhere, meet again, like you did. Even though I’ve rarely written about him since he went big-league, I’ve kept tabs on his myriad activities. To think of all the people who have suddenly been left in the lurch with his passing, personally and professionally, makes my head spin.

  4. catsworking says:

    Nancy, thank you so much. I just had a local friend phone me with the same thoughts. I was in Paris a few hours after Diana died. I was in Palm Springs when Frank Sinatra, who was a fixture there, died.

    Although I’m nowhere near Anthony Bourdain right now, I’ll forever remember sitting on my living room floor reading the paper, and the moment I heard Joe Scarborough say his name, turned my head, and saw on a crawl across the bottom of the TV that Bourdain had committed suicide.

    I feel there’s a lot more to this story than we know. Maybe it will eventually come out. Once I can gather my thoughts, I’ll share what I’ve been seeing and wondering about leading up to this.

  5. Tracy Moses says:

    You know, I was wondering, too, if being in France had anything to do with it. I also can’t stop thinking of all the people close to him whose lives have just blown up today and how they’re in shocking and reeling from the news. If those of us on the periphery are feeling such a gut punch I can only imagine how his loved ones are struggling right now.

  6. catsworking says:

    I just read that he hanged himself. The other night I watched the Parts Unknown in Hong Kong he was so proud of because girlfriend Asia Argento had directed it. Tony had some other director on that he idolized who was probably in his 80s, and he looked like he could have been Bourdain’s son, being so relatively un-weatherbeaten.

    I’m wondering if, like Robin Williams, Bourdain had received some bad medical news. He recently said in an interview that he intended to go out “in the saddle.” Who knew that he’d make it happen so soon?

  7. Suzette Ciancio says:

    I started following your blog after I found it when searching for all things Tony Bourdain on google some years ago. I’m in shock also, and very, very sad. No matter what else we find out it won’t change the fact that he is gone – too suddenly, too soon, and his grieving family and friends and fans will always be bereft.

  8. catsworking says:

    Welcome back, Suzette. I’ve had friends and family actually phoning me this morning to see how I’m taking this news, although I haven’t really mentioned Bourdain since he made it to the A list. I’m sitting here looking at a photo I had taken with him in, I think, 2013, when he made an appearance in Richmond. I had him autograph my paperback edition of what’s probably his most obscure book, “Typhoid Mary,” which didn’t seem to please him. He looks 20 years younger, without all the crags on his face. He aged tremendously in the past 5 years.

  9. Randi says:

    Only a few days ago, my friend who I visited in London, saw one of Tony’s shows for the first time, then she understood why I liked Tony so much. I got home Wednesday night with a bad cold – had a horrible trip back. So this afternoon, I lay in bed watching a re-run of his LA show when a friend rang and told me the news. 😦

    Although I had not expected Tony to live to be 70, I’m shocked and feeling very sad. The fact that he committed suicide, I think, is probably because of health problems. If he had any other problems, people would have queued up to help him, I’m sure.

    I can imagine how devastating it was for Eric Ripert to find him dead… one of his closest friends. My thoughts go to his daughter especially, and everyone who loved him.

    Tony, you left much too early and you will be missed terribly. Rest in peace!

  10. leeduigon says:

    Haven’t been here in a number of years, back when I was looking for all things Bourdain. When I heard the news, I thought of you immediately and here I am. This is just incredible–like so many others I think Why? From the outside it looks like he had everything to live for–wealth, personal recognition in his field, talent oh the list could go on. One does wonder what happened.
    Glad to see the blog is still here and hope you and yours are well.

  11. L Villeneuve says:

    Absolutely gutted.
    Although I have traveled extensively nothing like Bourdain. We were able to live vicariously through him and learn about this awe inspiring world. Never thought he would do this. Poor Eric Ripert and Tony’s family. God bless all.

  12. Donna Pavone says:

    You were the first person I thought of when I heard. I got quite the psychic double slap with a backhand this morning…..”Caps Win!” “Anthony Bourdain Dead”. Fucking Universe

  13. Bob says:

    Like you I just found out and am in total disbelief.
    I am numb and can’t even imagine what Ottavia and Ariane are going through. I’m just watching CNN and still can’t believe it.

    We were the original Bourdainiacs you and I. It just goes to show that one can really never know what is going on inside a person’s mind.

    Rest in Peace Chef.

  14. Tracy Moses says:

    I don’t enjoy speculating in idle gossip but just saw this today. I sincerely hope this wasn’t the reason Tony died. She wouldn’t have been worth it. Maybe there’s a legit explanation for the photos but they look somewhat damning.

  15. catsworking says:

    That so many of you, Bob, Donna, Pat, Randi, have come back to check here in about Bourdain’s passing warms my heart in the weirdest, saddest way. I’m trying to get some work done this morning, but my thoughts keep going back to the fact that this is our first day in a Bourdain-less world and I just can’t believe it. I’m so glad I have almost every episode of No Reservations on DVD, when he was in his prime.

    For the first time in a long while, I have been keeping pace with Parts Unknown this season. In previous years, I let episodes pile up and then binged. Last season, every episode moved me profoundly in some way, whether to laugh or almost cry or marvel at just how brilliant his writing was.

    This season, I have felt an emptiness in the content. Maybe Bourdain knew he was running out of steam. He seemed so proud of the Hong Kong episode because Asia Argento directed and Christopher Doyle (I remembered his name!) was featured, but I didn’t see anything particularly special about it. What haunts me now is the opening and closing shots of Bourdain sitting alone on a ferry at night, scratching something on a pad with the multicolored lights behind him. The show opened with him saying something about “falling in love with Hong Kong” and “falling in love IN Hong Kong,”and I wondered what the hell he was talking about.

    In my gut, I feel we’re going to find out, like with Robin Williams, that there was something medical going on and he knew it and decided to go out while he was on top. He was smoking again, getting tats with mad abandon, looking very gaunt, and behaving as if he didn’t give a shit about his body. I don’t think he allowed himself to comprehend how much he contributed to the world and how much this act would resonate with those who cared about him.

  16. Bob says:

    I didn’t realize he had started smoking again. But yes I also noticed a certain empyness in his work of late. I thought with the Hong Kong episode he had turned a creative corner. I can’t imagine what Ottavia, Arianne, and Asia are going through this morning. And poor Éric finding his friend.

    Maybe he was hiding an illness, I never initially thought of that.

    We Bourdainiacs are a family of sorts even after our squabbles early on. It’s been an amazing ride though. I hope he has finally found his peace.

  17. Morganlf says:

    How easy if it was a drug overdose. We could always think maybe it was an accident. But to hang yourself…leaves no question and CNN is not saying apparent suicide, they are quite clear. Didn’t see it coming.
    Really sad for Ottavia.

  18. catsworking says:

    Tracy, I saw this article as well and thought, “Holy shit! They look like a couple. I wonder if she’s been using Tony the same way she used Weinstein — to open doors for her career.”

    For Tony, it may have been history repeating itself. Ottavia spent every day grappling with young studs at her MMA studio for a time before their marriage ended.

    Of all the Weinstein accusers I’ve read about, Argento has been the only one who actually DATED him off and on over a period of years, accepted gifts from him, and even met his mother. And for the record, Weinstein didn’t “rape” her. He performed oral sex on her. She claims she was unable to escape because he was much bigger than her, but unless he had her tied up (which he didn’t), what was to stop her from pulling away while his head was “down there?” I’ve never understood the logistics of her claim.

    I was just reading an article on TMZ where they were speculating about a possible breakup because she was in Rome running around with this French reporter while Bourdain was in France filming his show with Eric Ripert. Thank God for Ripert. I’m devastated for him for being the one to find his friend dead, but glad he was one of the last people Bourdain was with, as opposed to Argento.

  19. Morganlf says:

    Remember early on in Medium Raw when he described driving maniacally on an island vacation after splitting with Nancy. He said every night he drive faster around hair turns with the hope of killing himself. I was skeptical…thought it was a literary device. I was wrong.

  20. Adele Prass says:

    Tried to comment on my phone, but couldn’t. But of course, Karen, after I thought of the hell this will put Ariane and Ottavia through, you were my next thought. I, too, wondered right away if there were some hidden medical issue, and I can’t imagine what would have been so dire that Tony would hang himself in a situation where Eric Ripert, someone, I truly believe he loved, would find his body. So many unanswered questions. Donna, Morgan, Bob, sorry we’re all re-acquainting like this.

  21. catsworking says:

    Hi, Morgan, I’ve been waiting for you. My first reaction was it must have been booze and pills. But no. I really, really hope he left some written record behind explaining his reason to give his loved ones a measure of closure, especially Ariane. And I keep having flashbacks to that first time in DC when you and I and others from Cats Working had our meeting with Ottavia and Tony when they were hot in love, and then we sat in the hotel bar gulping martinis because we couldn’t believe it had just happened.

  22. Joanne Miarecki says:

    Karen you are one the first people I thought of when I read about
    Anthony ,now my silly dream of meeting him is now gone .I too am glad that Eric Ripert found him, But why why did he do this. My thoughts esp are with his daughter . R.I.P Anthony

  23. leeduigon says:

    It was so much fun, back in the day gossiping about Tony’s latest capers. Lord, he will be missed.. I used to come here and there was always news about what he was up to. You never know what’s around the corner.
    Take care

  24. twilit says:

    Wow just read this myself and immediately thought of this blog because it’s where I followed the behind the scenes relationship drama years ago. So shocking and so sad. Incredible that people who seemingly have it all do this.

  25. Juan says:

    My fiancée woke me early this morning and showed me her phone. I felt like I had been gutted. I have been following Tony since Kitchen Confidential. I have been following this blog for quite a few years now. I stumbled acrossed it looking for information on Nancy, which Tony kept very private. Never posted, just enjoyed reading the posts about AB. I never thought I would wake up to read that he had ended his life in this fashion. It sounds like he left this world broken hearted, after news broke that Asia was with another man. He had mentioned being suicidal in Medium Raw, after his divorce with Nancy, which he called the ultimate betrayal of his life. I suppose Asia’s betrayal was too much for him to live with, after all of the advocating and support he gave her.

    I was fortunate to attend 3 of his shows: Albuquerque 2013, Seattle 2015, and Denver in 2016. I met him at all three. I brought a backpack full of his books to sign to the Seattle and Denver shows. The limit was four items, he signed everything I had and never batted an eye. He was one of my favorite authors, television personalities and bjj practioners. He left the world with a giant void to fill.

    Chef, I hope you are at peace. Thank you for taking us with you on your adventures. You will be missed.


  26. catsworking says:

    Welcome back, Adele. I was hoping you’d come. This really does feel like a wake. After seeing Tony’s seemingly accelerated aging and gauntness and that he was smoking Marlboro Reds in his February interview with People, it occurred to me that the smoking may have caught up and he’d been diagnosed with lung cancer.

    The series of photos of Asia with the hot young French reporter were published online by the Daily Mail on Tuesday. Now on Friday, Tony’s dead. I’m not saying there’s any direct connection, but perhaps it contributed to a perfect storm for him when it came to his relationships with women.

    Morgan, I wonder how Nancy is taking this news and, you’re right. He did let us know he thought of suicide.

    I just ran out for a while to run errands, and when the name “Anthony Bourdain” came on the radio, my heart lurched. Then they played a clip of an interview, and I almost burst into tears in a parking lot at the sound of his voice. I think I’m going to have that reaction for some time to come.

    I would imagine Eric Ripert will stay in France and accompany Tony’s body wherever it goes, and then he’s going to be in great demand to help us try to make some sense of what seems so senseless.

  27. Morganlf says:

    I guess im still in shock & like the night we met him, I still have to process.
    He & Ottavia came to recognize me at events, Always a hug & a kiss.
    A friend I haven’t spoken to in 8 years called me this morning and left a message, my niece texted me if I was ok. I’m just numb I guess.
    His CNN family really loved him, the tributes are touching and REAL.
    He was a good dude. I don’t want to be me when this sinks in.

  28. Adele Prass says:

    I just keep thinking of Ariane. Losing a father at a young age is always rough on a girl,(I know from experience) but losing a father to suicide is unimaginable. As for me, this will hurt for a long time.

  29. catsworking says:

    Juan, welcome to Cats Working. I have a few autographed Bourdain books from times I got to see him as well. Thanks for telling us how he so graciously signed all of yours. Underneath all the swagger on the outside, that’s the kind of person he was fundamentally. Humble and grateful for his success.

    I remember the second time a group of us from Cats Working traveled to DC to see Tony at a fundraiser for the DC Kitchen. Before the show started, Bourdain actually picked me out of the audience and came up into the stands to tell me Ottavia wasn’t able to make it that year, and he kissed me on both cheeks. I was stunned.

    And many years later, when he came to Richmond, once again, he picked me out from a crowd all the way across a huge ballroom to wave hi. He knew I’d be there and must have been looking out for me.

    In fact, from the day he Fed Exed me a letter (and had looked up my home address!) to tell me he knew about Cats Working reporting on him and to correct a few things, I never saw him again without thinking, “Wow, with everything he’s got going on, there’s actually a brain cell in that man’s head that I occupy.'” It was one of the greatest honors of my writing life.

  30. catsworking says:

    Adele, I think this has ensured that Ariane will eventually end up with a chef.

  31. catsworking says:

    Morgan, I’ve been going through the same thing. People who knew I had a Bourdain connection have checked in to see how I’m doing. I haven’t cried yet, but I almost wailed a little while ago when I watched a segment on CNN called “Remembering Anthony Bourdain.” Instead, I turned off the TV and went out to buy vodka because getting a little fuzzy seems the only way to deal with this. Speaking of which, I wonder how Zamir is doing.

    I hope they let the current season of Parts Unknown run. And I wonder how much they had shot in France with Eric Ripert, if they’ll be able to turn the footage into an homage.

    And I wonder what’s on his laptop in the way of manuscripts. He was working on another crime novel at one point.

    As creatively prolific as he was, I can’t believe he’s going to make us all go off him cold-turkey. I’m even thinking of trying to get my hands on those stupid comic books he just did, Hungry Ghosts.

  32. Adele Prass says:

    I thought of Zamir, too. And I think I’ll be having a martini in Tony’s honor later on — too bad we can’t all meet in a dive bar somewhere and lift a glass to him. I’ve gotten 4 or 5 messages from friends as well. I’ll always be grateful to you and Ottavia for getting a chance to meet Tony. He was so genuinely nice to me and my friend, and even after we moved out of the reception line, came over a couple of times to chat. Clearly even more complicated than we knew, but at bottom, I think a very decent human being. There’s a Kenneth Patchen picture poem of foot steps leading up to a square, which says, “The impatient explorer invents a box, in which all journeys may be kept.” That’s what Tony did for me.

  33. catsworking says:

    Adele, I was just checking Twitter, and Eric tweeted just a few hours ago that Tony was his best friend and an amazing person, with condolences, and posted what looked like a pic from the Cayman Cookout. Zamir has also been tweeting and seemed to go through the stages of grief, from disbelief to acceptance. In one, he speculated that Tony had taken off for Parts Unknown to tell us about later.

    I’m not seeing any more details on what happened or if arrangements have been made for a funeral or service. Everyone still seems to be reeling and trying to get a grip on it.

  34. Morganlf says:

    Bit of amusement on a very dark day. Karen one blogger identified you as his ex Nancy!

  35. catsworking says:

    OMG, that picture of “Nancy” in this link is actually the pic of ME and Bourdain in 2013 when he came to Richmond. I have it in a frame near my desk. Good sleuthing, Morgan.

    Nice try blogger, but except for the dirt on Argento, whose history I never cared about, they’re light years behind us here. I’ve also covered some of the other girlfriends he had between Nancy and Ottavia.

  36. Morganlf says:

    Watching CNN the waterworks begin…

  37. feijicha says:

    Like so many commenters here, I haven’t been on the site in a while, but when this broke I thought of this site and the community of intelligent, thoughtful fans of Tony’s it always attracted. As others have said, I found the news shocking and incomprehensible. When I heard he’d died, I thought it might have been some sort of accident on one of his trips — a plane, a boat, a war zone, something in the “line of duty” as it were. When I heard suicide I just could not process it. I still can’t. I too thought ok in that case maybe it was like Robin Williams and a result of some catastrophic diagnosis. HIs love for his daughter just didn’t fit with the facts. Or that Eric would be the one to find him, or someone from his production crew as they were in process of shooting an episode from what I’ve read. But then that’s the terrible nature of suicide…. we just can’t know what was going on in someone’s head. I looked at the link someone provided above…..the photos of his gf with that guy… some are just two people together, but a couple seem to indicate some intimacy between her and the guy she’s with (not Tony). I too really, really, really hope this was not the result of heartbreak over a relationship. Based on some of his published comments after other breakups it does seem like he takes them hard. You’d hope a man of his age, experience in life and with women, would be knocked down but not knocked out by that. I had thought maybe his death was accidental, a la Heath Ledger, that maybe he’d fallen back into drugs…If the report that he hanged himself is true…..I just can’t even…..

  38. catsworking says:

    feijicha, welcome. I made the correction to your comment. Yes, I would have had the same thoughts fly through my mind if my first news of it hadn’t been the screen crawl saying “suicide.”

    I’ve got the DVR catching CNN shows (and also all the reruns of Parts Unknown) to see if I can find some clue. As the hours tick by with no new news (except I did find one article estimating his worth at $16 million, like that matters), I feel this increasing sense of dread that another shoe is going to drop. It will be awful, but it will answer our questions.

    I just can’t believe that he would suddenly check out and leave NO word as to why. There may be an autopsy report to come. But I suspect he’s written something, somewhere, that will offer some insight. I don’t believe that he was so out of his mind with depression or grief or broken heart that he just made himself disappear and left everybody in the lurch wondering why forever.

  39. J W says:

    I’m another person who has enjoyed your blog for many years, never commented. Haven’t been here in a bit… But thought of you today when I heard the sad news about Tony. {{{HUGS}}} to you, today (and Always! 🙂 ). Another day I owe you some comments about how much I’ve enjoyed your blog lo these many years! I’ve been here for Cats and Politics, but always enjoyed your enthusiasm for AB. My sympathies to you on this sad day. –J

  40. catsworking says:

    Welcome, JW. I have been experiencing the loss of Tony today as if he were my always-absent brother. I did keep tabs on him while I mostly stayed silent. It has been overwhelming to hear from people who have been monitoring Cats Working all this time, because I stopped commenting on him when he made the A list and I felt I had nothing to add after all the bigger blogs and news sites got his full cooperation and I didn’t.

    Early on, he refused to grant me an interview because he didn’t want to appear to support my blog because I was delving into his personal life (i.e., Nancy) even though what I was reporting what was available online through other sources. I never dived into his dumpster.

    I believe I gave him the courage to discuss his personal life himself, without repercussions, which he did extensively as time went on. I never got any credit for that.

    Ottavia has been much more accommodating, even giving my cats access to her late cat, Lupetto, for an interview, for which we will always be grateful. Everything is still here in the archives. I never expected them to become a memorial to Bourdain, but now they are. My heart is breaking over that fact.

    Tony, we already miss you. Why?

  41. Laura N. says:

    Hi, everyone. Another first time poster here. I first stumbled upon this blog a few years back after I’d heard Anthony was married before Ottavia. I can’t claim to be as big a fan as most here but I’ve watched his shows for years and was inspired to visit several places I probably never would have had I not seen him do it first. He was a beautiful writer and he really brought something unique and wonderful to television. It’s all so terribly tragic and so shocking. I’d just recently started tuning into Parts Unknown again this season and his appearance surprised me. I though he looked ill and aged in an unnatural way. Though, maybe he’d just lost too much weight. Who knows? And I know this is not the time to go there but his relationship with Asia Argento looked like trouble to me. That’s all.

    Anyway, I feel heartbroken for his little girl and all of his family and friends.

    RIP Anthony Bourdain

  42. catsworking says:

    Welcome, Laura. I’m up past my bedtime because I’m still grappling with the prospect of a world without Bourdain’s voice in it. He made me try squid ink in Lisbon. (I liked it!) I think we are all waiting for the medical reports and whatever messages he left behind to come out. I don’t feel that Asia will be remembered as the last love of his life, given the Daily Mail photos. Was Tony her “rock” or her stepping stone?

  43. Morganlf says:

    I don’t want to comment too early on Asia Argento’s place in this heartbreaking story..But not a fan.

  44. catsworking says:

    Morgan, I am ready to do battle with Asia if it becomes appropriate. Was Tony her “rock” or her “stepping stone?”

    Speaking of squid ink in Lisbon, the tour guide who ordered that dish for me emailed me today because Bourdain’s death reminded him of me. HOW? Did his name come up during that dinner? I don’t remember, but it must have.

    As Americans continue to travel the world and taste new cultures (until Trump makes Americans total pariahs who need to be jailed or killed) Bourdain’s influence will be remembered with fondness.

    DAMN YOU BOURDAIN for going silent when we need you SO MUCH!!

  45. feijicha says:

    Tony commented in an article I found in my going through the inter webs today looking for anything about him that might shed some light that unlike him she had been famous since she was a kid (he got famous at like 44 he said) and he would talk to her about handling it, etc. Reports say she was an actress and director. Was/is she a big name in Italian acting?? (I can’t imagine she was famous for directing films as a child)

  46. catsworking says:

    Feijicha, no, she wasn’t. Her father was a director of Italian horror films. Bourdain was a great fan of all kinds of foreign and indie films, so he knew many involved who were not known to Americans. She won awards in Italy that were a big deal there, apparently. I’ve not seen any of her movies in their entirety, but have not been impressed by the scenes I’ve seen online (maybe they weren’t her best bits, giving her the benefit of the doubt).

  47. Juan says:


    I own Tony’s first published work. He signed it for me when I met him in Denver. When I handed it to him I asked if it was his first published work, he answered, “Oh my God. Yes. This one is for the archives.” It is a short story called FAO. It is from the literary journal “Between C & D” that Joel Rose used to print. It was published in 1985. Still in pretty damn good condition. I am sure there is another copy floating around, but I haven’t seen one to date. This seems like the appropriate forum to share it on, but it doesn’t look like I can share photos. If interested, I could send them to you via email for you to share on your blog. I also have vintage magazines he contributed stories to from the mid 80’s. Let me know. I was looking thru my library today and thought it would be cool to share some of his work when he was an unknown and still with Nancy.


  48. CC says:

    I am in complete shock. Yesterday was tough. Specially because of all the guesses, all the questions popping up in my head. Crazy, shocking news. Premeditated? An all of a sudden decision? “Accidental”? Too late to make any difference now. Super strange and mind blowing death.

  49. Mary Hunter says:

    This is truly a sad sad day. I got the news from a co-worker when I first got to work. I immediately phoned my husband. When he heard my tone of voice, he thought something happened to family or close friends. Well, we, as many had followed Tony from the very beginning of ” A Cook’s Tour” and on to the present. The night before we had just watched two episodes of Parts Unknown, including the one in China with Eric Ripert. It was hard to concentrate on work. On my break I went to the River, found a penny in the bottom of my purse and threw it into the falls, sending prayers Tony’s way, and also for his daughter and good friends like Eric, Michael Ruhlman and others. The penny was from 1973, the year I first visited Europe and became interested in travel ever since.

    I came to this wonderful blog of yours because of Tony and have enjoyed it so much. My sincere condolences to you Karen, and your beloved cats, keepers of all things Bourdain.

  50. catsworking says:

    Wow, Juan, you really are a big Bourdain fan! I think I was aware of lost short stories at one point but never saw them. I have your email address and will write you privately about this. Due to copyright, I don’t know what I could publish here, but we’ll see.

    Before Tony hit it big with Kitchen Confidential, he published two crime novels (which I saw incorrectly referred to as “suspense” novels in one obit — the factual errors are everywhere. Another one is that he divorced first wife Nancy in 2005. No. The divorce wasn’t final until 2007). They were Bone in the Throat (1995) and Gone Bamboo (1997).

  51. catsworking says:

    Welcome, CC. I’ve had 25 hours to absorb the news and I woke up this morning still in shock. Thank God for all of you posting here. It feels like group therapy to have people to talk through this with.

    Due to the circumstances, I would guess that his decision to die was situational and not premeditated or accidental. He was staying in a luxury hotel in French wine country with this best friend and crew, in the middle of filming what must have been a funny episode (he loved to prank Eric). The only dark thing I’m aware of that happened during that time was publication of the pictures of his girlfriend Asia with the French hottie in Rome.

    I’m waiting for the French to report something. It seems they would do an autopsy, at least. And we don’t know what writing he may have left behind.

    It’s maddening the way the media covers this. This morning AOL had a headline, “Chef who found Anthony Bourdain’s body speaks out.” And I thought, “Oh, good, Eric can clear up some things.” The so-called “story” was just the freaking tweet Eric put out yesterday afternoon.

    Hate to say it, but closely following a story like this, knowing what I know about Bourdain, and seeing the dreck some outlets are calling “news” gives me a teeny-tiny tinge of sympathy for Trump.

  52. catsworking says:

    Oh, Mary, thank you for coming back. I read this morning that CNN is planning to air Parts Unknown as usual on Sunday night (Berlin?), with a special intro by Anderson Cooper. Although I’ve seen every episode this season, I’m DVRing them again to rewatch. CNN is supposed to be airing tributes all weekend. I think I taped one last night, but haven’t seen it yet.

    What I’m finding amazing in the coverage now is how little of it I don’t already know. I’m surprising myself with how much a Bourdainiac I have been!

    AND… the Richmond Times-Dispatch recently reformatted itself to be like a high school newspaper, with shit about local murders and pervs and, of course, the Civil War, filling the front page and first section, and the real news buried in the middle. Well, this morning’s issue had Bourdain’s picture on the front page, above the fold, and a huge story where local chefs commented on how they were taking the news. They’ve established a local support group for restaurant workers with substance or mental health issues.

  53. Tracy Moses says:

    I woke up this morning and forgot (maybe because it seemed so improbable?). Then something popped up online and I thought, “oh shit”. The sadness set in again. I walk around shaking my head, literally.

    I don’t know that this would have many any difference to Tony (or anyone who opts for suicide) but I hope he realized how much he was loved around the world and how much he impacted peoples’ lives.

  54. Laura N. says:

    According to the Daily Mail, he did it in his hotel room bathroom with the belt of his bathrobe.

  55. catsworking says:

    Laura, thank you. I hadn’t seen that. So now we know. In the bathroom, looking into the mirror at his craggy face and white hair. The method is something he has joked about in the past, and certainly doesn’t sound like something planned.

  56. catsworking says:

    Tracy, I did the same thing. I was lying in bed a few seconds this morning before I remembered that it’s a post-Bourdain world and the weight of sadness returned.

  57. Bacardi1/Bonnie C. says:

    Still reeling here as well. Husband woke me up at 7:30 a.m. yesterday morning with the news, & I spent the entire day in absolute shock watching & listening to CNN all day & all night. Finally switched it off when they morphed over into Trump news in the wee hours of this morning. Will have CNN back on @ 8 tonight when they’ll be showing a mini-marathon of “Parts Unknown” episodes.

    Am very sad for his family & friends, especially poor Eric Ripert who had what must’ve been the shock of his life finding the body. I’m now even more grateful than ever that I had the chance to see both Tony & Eric in person when they visited Charlottesville to do one of their Q&A shows. We had perfect seats & had a terrific time.

    We can all speculate ourselves to death trying to guess “why” (I know I will, at least for awhile), but unless he left a note that eventually comes to light, I doubt no one will ever know for sure. I doubt very much that it was a medical issue, as in that case I doubt he would’ve chosen that time, place, or people for it. He’s too kind for that. I WOULD like to hope that it wasn’t due to the recent antics of that ditzy entitled-sounding Italian girlfriend, because that would make this even more of a waste than it already is. I don’t even want to broach how I’ll I feel if it turns out that that WAS the reason & she knew it. Ugh.

  58. catsworking says:

    Welcome back, Bacardi! Yes, I hope it isn’t Asia-related, but my doubts are growing by the minute.

    Seems recently he bought a painting titled something like, “The Sky is Falling. I’m Learning to Live with It.”

    Sounds ominous.

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