TV chef Anthony Bourdain dies aged 61

Anthony Bourdain, the celebrity chef and citizen of the world who inspired millions to share his delight in food and the bonds it created, was found dead in his hotel room Friday in France while working on his CNN series on culinary traditions.

He was 61.

CNN confirmed the death, saying that Bourdain was found unresponsive Friday morning by friend and chef Eric Ripert in the French city of Kaysersberg.

It called his death a suicide. Bourdain's assistant Laurie Woolever would not comment when reached by The Associated Press.

Widely loved and rarely afraid to speak his mind, he mixed a coarseness and whimsical sense of adventurousness, true to the rock 'n' roll music he loved.

Bourdain's Parts Unknown seemed like an odd choice for CNN when it started in 2013 - part travelogue, part history lesson, part love letter to exotic foods. Each trip was an adventure. There had been nothing quite like it on the staid news network, and it became an immediate hit.

Fellow celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey tweeted that he was "stunned and saddened" at the news, adding that the 61-year-old had "inspired so many people to explore cultures and cities through their food".

Former US President Barack Obama also gave his condolences.

"He taught us about food - but more importantly its ability to bring us together, to make us a little less afraid of the unknown."

Bourdain's death comes days after the suicide of fashion designer Kate Spade in New York.

Where to find help and support:
Need to Talk? - Call or text 1737
Lifeline - 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland
Youthline - 0800 376 633, text 234, email talk@youthline.co.nz or online chat
Samaritans - 0800 726 666
Depression Helpline - 0800 111 757
Suicide Crisis Helpline - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO
)

APTN / Newshub.