Was Anthony Bourdain depressed?

In this blog we will be answering the question, “Was Anthony Bourdain depressed” and also cover topics like who was Anthony Bourdain, was he addicted to drugs, his death, about his life and depression, and also answer some frequently asked questions related to him and his life.

Was Anthony Bourdain depressed?

Yes, as far as we know Anthony Bourdain was depressed but he never really opened up about his depression, he always discussed how bad his addictions and substance dependence was and how he has battled through addiction and substance abuse for a major part of his life. 

Let us explore who he was, his life, his death, etc., in the further sections.

Who was Anthony Bourdain?

Anthony Bourdain was a brilliant chef and storyteller who explored culture, gastronomy, and the human condition through his books and shows. He graduated from The Culinary Institute of America in 1978. 

He first gained fame through his debut book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly (2000) which became a bestseller. In 2002 and 2003, Bourdain’s first culinary and travel television show, A Cook’s Tour, aired on the Food Network for 35 episodes. 

In 2005, he began hosting the Travel Channel’s culinary and cultural adventure shows Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations (2005–2012) and The Layover (2011–2013). He switched his travelogue programming to CNN, where he hosted Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, after a three-season run as a judge on The Taste. 

Bourdain was most known for his culinary publications and appearances on television. He also published a number of books about food and cuisine, as well as travel adventures.

He was a larger-than-life person and a very successful chef. So why all of sudden did he die of suicide at the mere age of 61?


Was Anthony Bourdain addicted to drugs?

Bourdain was an avid cigarette smoker. Thomas Keller reportedly offered Bourdain a 20-course tasting menu that included a coffee and cigarette amidst the meal. Bourdain was served a coffee custard flavored with tobacco served with foie gras mousse, as a way to accommodate Bourdain’s habit of taking two packs of cigarettes in a day. Bourdain gave up smoking in the year 2007 to save his daughter’s life, but he resumed smoking way before he died.

Bourdain was former cocaine, heroin, and LSD user. He wrote about how he and his companions were frequently high. 

Bourdain admitted that drugs impacted his decision-making and that he sent a busboy to Alphabet City to procure cannabis, methaqualone, codeine, cocaine, psilocybin, LSD, mushrooms, heroin, secobarbital, amphetamine, etc.

Anthony Bourdain’s Death

In early June 2018, Bourdain was in Strasbourg, France to film an episode of Parts Unknown with Éric Ripert. 

Mr.Ripert and Bourdain were colleagues and also friends. When Bourdain failed to show up for supper and breakfast on June 8, Ripert became concerned. He went to check up on Bourdain in his hotel room at the Le Chambard hotel in Kaysersberg and found him hanging and dead.

Bourdain’s body did not show any evidence of violence, as said by the Public Prosecutor of Colmar. 

The suicide seemed to be a spontaneous act. Bourdain’s toxicology reports were found to be negative for narcotics, with only a trace of a medicinal non-narcotic medication. On June 13, 2018, Bourdain’s corpse was cremated in France, and his ashes were sent to the United States after two days of cremation.


Was Bourdain’s death a shock to everyone?

Bourdain’s mother, told The New York Times, “He is absolutely the last person in the world I would have ever dreamed would do anything like this.”

After Bourdain’s death news, a number of famous chefs and other public personalities expressed their condolences. Andrew Zimmern, Gordon Ramsay, Scott Kelly, Chrissy Teigen, and Donald Trump were all present. 

Bourdain’s “talents never failed to amaze us, and we will miss him very much,” CNN said in a statement. Barack Obama wrote about Bourdain on his Twitter and talked about his experience of dining with Bourdain in Vietnam for an episode of Parts Unknown. Nigella Lawson, the British cookbook author also offered her condolences on Twitter. 

Mr. Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern had a lot in common. They became friends after meeting 13 years ago. They frequently discussed the challenges that come with stardom, and both battled with addiction. 

Mr. Zimmern explained, “We shared a very, very strong feeling of wanting to get off this wild roller coaster, but we also knew that this was our profession.” “The world has lost a wonderful human being, and I’ve lost one of the only people with whom I could discuss some of this.”

When I did see him, we’d go into a corner or have supper together and talk about our deepest, darkest secrets.” On the day of Bourdain’s passing, CNN aired a tribute program called Remembering Anthony Bourdain.

After his death, fans paid their tributes to Bourdain at Brasserie Les Halles which was his former workplace. Chefs and restaurant owners came together to hold tribute dinners, and net proceeds contributed to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

CNN announced a final season of Parts Unknown in August 2018, which will include two episodes honoring the series and legacy of Bourdain, as well as the narration and new interviews with notable guests.

As a memorial to Bourdain, Andrés and Ripert launched the first Bourdain Day in June 2019. The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) launched a scholarship in Bourdain’s honor in the same month.

In October 2019, a collection of Bourdain’s personal belongings was auctioned off, bringing in $1.8 million. A portion of the proceeds went to the Anthony Bourdain Legacy Scholarship at his alma mater, The Culinary Institute of America. His handcrafted Bob Kramer Steel and Meteorite Chef’s knife, which sold for a record $231,250, was the most expensive item auctioned.

In October 2019, Morgan Neville announced a film about Anthony Bourdain which had its international premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on 11 June 2021 and was distributed by Focus Features in July 2021. 

Bourdain’s life: A recipe for depression

In a statement, famous chef and restaurateur Eric Ripert, who appeared with Mr. Bourdain on multiple episodes of his shows and was traveling with him at the time of his death, said, “Anthony was a great friend.” 

“He was a one-of-a-kind human being who was both inspiring and generous. One of our time’s great storytellers who touched so many people. I wish him peace. 

My heartfelt condolences and prayers go out to his family, friends, and loved ones.” Mr. Ripert had told Ms. Bourdain that “Tony had been in a dark mood these past couple of days,” but she had no idea why he had died by suicide. “He had it all,” she explained. “Success beyond his wildest dreams. Money beyond his wildest dreams.”

Bourdain was a famous chef who disguised to be a regular TV personality. He loved traveling the world, making friends wherever he went and gaining followers wherever he appeared. 

He was a celebrity, an icon — he was to world cuisine what Indiana Jones was to archaeology. In a day of sniveling foodies with egos measured in follower counts, he was a breath of fresh air. 

He was an Emmy winner and a New York Times best-selling author. He was intelligent, emotionally astute, and, as one might expect, financially well-off.

However, most of us have no idea what a world-class chef goes through on a daily basis. It’s fast-paced, profane, unforgiving, and a little unpleasant. Success doesn’t guarantee happiness. Anthony was also depressed. Earlier in his life, he became addicted to drugs, and while he was able to obtain treatment for his addiction, he kept his depression hidden. 

Unfortunately, ignoring depression is a dangerous strategy for dealing with it. Depression is a deceptive illness that leads people to believe self-created lies. It suffocates their dreams and aspirations and fills their life with meaningless gloom.

What we should learn from Anthony Bourdain’s life?

People with depression need love, respect, and care. It is important to check in with the people around us. Genuinely ask them how they feel and respect their answers. 

If they don’t feel like talking, then respect their decision. Don’t force them to continue a conversation they don’t want to. Sometimes just sharing the other person’s silence can also be helpful. 

Respond politely if they say something to you that you don’t agree with or don’t want to hear.  These little things show the other person that they genuinely matter to us.

Bourdain loved to try different food. He never turned a dish down. He believed that people are telling you a story when they offer you food. If you reject it, you are also rejecting those people. Even if the dish was outside Bourdain’s comfort zone, he accepted it because it helped people to open up to him.

In his 2010 novel, Medium Raw, Bourdain mentioned why it is important for us to learn how to cook for ourselves and others. Bourdain said. “As citizens of the world, we should be able to feed ourselves fairly competently, and hopefully a few others.” Cooking and caring go hand in hand.


There are things that make us happy- dancing, singing, painting, watching cute videos, etc. however, there is no permanent or single cure for depression. 

Therapy and medication can make things better but they do not guarantee that depression will never return. Depression is a clog of unsettling thoughts. All of the positive things that happen during a person’s day pass through their head, but their sadness stores all of the negative stuff.

If you’re facing this, it may be a good idea to seek the help of a therapist or other mental health professional. You can find a therapist at BetterHelp who can help you learn how to cope and address it.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Was Anthony Bourdain depressed?

What did Anthony Bourdain die of?

Anthony Bourdain died of suicide at the age of 61 on June 8, 2018, in his hotel room. 

Did Anthony Bourdain dislike Andrew Zimmern?

No, Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern shared a close relationship. Zimmern felt that Bourdain can inspire and motivate people. He went on to say that as a chef and a leader in the restaurant industry, as well as outside of it, Bourdain had earned a lot of respect and admiration.

Was Anthony Bourdain married at the time of his death?

Bourdain and his wife separated in 2016, two years before his death in 2018, but they never divorced legally, and they have one kid, Ariane Bourdain.

Who was Anthony Bourdain dating?

While filming the Rome edition of Parts Unknown in 2016, Bourdain met Italian actress Asia Argento. Argento traveled to Germany to escape what she described an “Italian culture of victim-blaming” after being blasted in the media and by lawmakers for her testimony. 

After his death, Argento said, “Anthony gave everything he had in whatever he did.” “His brilliant, courageous attitude touched and inspired countless people, and his generosity knew no bounds.” He was my protector, my love, and my rock. “I’m completely devastated.”

What was Bourdain sad about?

Bourdain got candid about his life in an interview one year prior to his death. He talked about how he was an unhappy soul who struggled with his heroin addiction and then crack addiction. He also mentioned how he has hurt and offended numerous people and how he regrets it all. 

He also mentioned living with shame with all that he has done. He talked about how he travels almost 250 days in a year but he was doing better than before around the time o that interview. 

Did Anthony Bourdain have kids?

Yes, he has a daughter, Ariane Bourdain who is 14 years old now. Bourdain separated from his wife in 2016 but they never officially divorced. However, they have a child together named Ariane Bourdain. He loved his daughter a lot and she wrote about watching Ratatouille with him and cooking the dish in her new biography.


CNN’s Anthony Bourdain dead at 61  https://edition.cnn.com/2018/06/08/us/anthony-bourdain-obit/index.html

What killed Anthony Bourdain?  https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/addiction-in-society/201810/what-killed-anthony-bourdain

Anthony Bourdain’s battle with depression   https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/mental-health/news/anthony-bourdain-depression/

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