Anthony Bourdain Is Now With the Food Gods

Anthony Bourdain, foodie, film fan, sensualist, adventurer whom I admired like few others, a guy whose passion was going all around the world to eat the best street food imaginable, passed away yesterday at the age of 61. 

It's only after his passing that we learned Bourdain was suffering from his own bout of depression. His joie-de-vivre, sensual joy of discovery, was clearly hiding a darker, narrower path: the deepest, darkest abyss of his soul. 

Despite traveling 250 days a year, munching on the tastiest food, the best cheap beer and going through the sights and sounds of some of the world's most eye-opening locations, it just wasn't enough for him. Depression can be a nasty thing. 

Bourdain was found dead in a Strasbourg hotel room as he was shooting his CNN show "Parts Unknown."  He was in a long-distance relationship with Asia Argento, who had been making the rounds the last year or so identifying herself as one of Harvey Weinstein's hotel room victims.

I got into a little trouble earlier today when I was accused of insinuating that Argento had something to do with Anthony's suicide, which is not at all what I was implying. Yes, Asia was seen holding hands and being more than a little chummy with a French journalist in Rome a day before Bourdain's death, but it's not like his depression just happened. Was it a trigger? Who knows. Only a suicide note could confirm that and even then, to read the final words of a clinically depressed person doesn't always give you the full picture.

N.Y. Times: 

“In everything he did, Mr. Bourdain cultivated a renegade style and bad-boy persona.

“For decades, he worked 13-hour days as a line cook in restaurants in New York and the Northeast before he became executive chef in the 1990s at Brasserie Les Halles, serving steak frites and onion soup in Lower Manhattan. He had been the chef there for eight years when he sent an unsolicited article to The New Yorker about the underbelly of the restaurant world and its deceptions.

“To his surprise, the magazine accepted it and ran it, catching the attention of book editors. It resulted in ‘Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly,’ a memoir that elevated Mr. Bourdain to a celebrity chef and a new career on TV. Before he joined CNN in 2012, he spent eight seasons as the globe-trotting host of ‘No Reservations’ on the Travel Channel, highlighting obscure cuisine and unknown restaurants.

“Mr. Bourdain became an instant hero to a certain breed of professional cooks and restaurant goers when ‘Kitchen Confidential’ hit the best-seller lists in 2000.”

“He is largely credited for defining an era of line cooks as warriors, exposing a kitchen culture in which drugs, drinking and long, brutal hours on the line in professional kitchens were both a badge of honor and a curse.”