CNN today confirmed that Anthony Bourdain has died, and reported the cause of death as suicide. Bourdain, a chef, author and storyteller who was a massive television personality, was 61.

In a statement released on June 8, CNN said: “It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain.”

“His love of great adventure, new friends, fine food and drink and the remarkable stories of the world made him a unique storyteller. His talents never ceased to amaze us and we will miss him very much. Our thoughts and prayers are with his daughter and family at this incredibly difficult time.”

According to Brian Stelter, senior media correspondent for CNN and host of the CNN programme Reliable Sources, Bourdain was in France working on an episode of his award-winning CNN series Parts Unknown.

Bourdain’s close friend and French chef Eric Ripert reportedly found Bourdain unresponsive in his hotel room Friday morning.

In 1999, Bourdain wrote a New Yorker article, “Don’t Eat Before Reading This”, that became a bestselling book in 2000, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures In The Culinary Underbelly. The book set him on a path to international stardom.

First he hosted A Cook’s Tour on the Food Network, then moved to Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations on the Travel Channel. No Reservations was a breakout hit, earning two Emmys and over a dozen nominations.

In 2013, Bourdain joined a cable television network best known for breaking news and headlines. He quickly became one of the principal faces of CNN. Season 11 of Parts Unknown premiered in May 2018.

The Smithsonian once called Bourdain “the original rock star” of the culinary world, “the Elvis of bad boy chefs”. In 2013, Peabody Award judges honoured Bourdain and Parts Unknown for “expanding our palates and horizons in equal measure”.

“He’s irreverent, honest, curious, never condescending, never obsequious,” the judges said. “People open up to him and, in doing so, often reveal more about their hometowns or homelands than a traditional reporter could hope to document.”

While accepting the Peabody, Bourdain described his approach to work. “We ask very simple questions: What makes you happy? What do you eat? What do you like to cook? And everywhere in the world we go and ask these very simple questions,” he said, “we tend to get some really astonishing answers.”

This post contains material sourced from CNN.