Inside the friendship between Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert, the famous chef who was in France with the TV host when he died

  • Anthony Bourdain was found dead on Friday.
  • Eric Ripert, a high-profile French chef, found the TV host unresponsive in his hotel room in France, CNN reported.
  • Ripert and Bourdain have been close friends for more than two decades, with Ripert frequently appearing on Bourdain’s shows “No Reservations” and “Parts Unknown.”

Anthony Bourdain, the celebrity chef and TV host, was found dead on Friday in an apparent suicide.

Bourdain was found unresponsive in his hotel room by his close friend, Eric Ripert, CNN reported. The pair was in France, where Bourdain was working on an upcoming episode of his CNN series “Parts Unknown.”

The two chefs had been close friends for more than two decades.

Ripert became a culinary star in the 1990s, working at the New York City restaurant Le Bernardin. At just 29, the French chef earned a four-star rating at Le Bernardin in The New York Times in 1995. Soon after, he became the part-owner of the famed restaurant.

Bourdain also rose to prominence in the New York City restaurant scene, working as a chef at various spots in the 1980s and 1990s. In 2000, Bourdain published a best-selling book about his experience, “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly.”

While “Kitchen Confidential” ripped many well-respected restaurants and uncovered some dark corners of the industry, the book had nothing but praise for Le Bernadin and Ripert, whom Bourdain did not know at the time. Those compliments helped spark a friendship between Ripert and Bourdain.

“Seventy-five per cent of the industry was saying, ‘it’s scandalous’ and ‘this guy is a disgrace.’ Then part of the industry was saying, ‘he’s genius,'” Ripert told Hamptons Magazine in 2012. “I called him and said, ‘I read your book, and I would love to know you. Would you come for lunch?’ That was the first time I met Anthony, and we have been friends ever since.”

As Bourdain launched his career as a TV host, Ripert was a frequent guest on “No Reservations” and “Parts Unknown.” The pair’s list of destinations included Paris, Brooklyn, Peru, and China’s Sichuan region.

“I like to bring the distinguished three-star Michelin chef and good friend Eric Ripert someplace every year and torture him,” Bourdain said in October 2017.

According to Ripert, the two would collaborate on ideas for where they should travel together for episodes of “Parts Unknown.”

“We’re very good friends,” Ripert said in an October 2017 interview. “We laugh and it’s comfortable because we can be calm, and sometimes we don’t speak at all and we’ll be happy together. I think he likes that a lot.”

Ripert continued: “The shooting is very intense and he’s travelling a lot, and he needs to have a moment of peace during the day, and I think if he was with someone not feeling comfortable with silence and was asking questions and forcing him to talk, he would be very uncomfortable.”

“Anthony was a dear friend,” Ripert said in a statement to The New York Times on Friday. “He was an exceptional human being, so inspiring and generous. One of the great storytellers of our time who connected with so many. I wish him peace. My love and prayers are with his family, friends and loved ones.”

* If you need help in a crisis, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For further information about depression contact beyondblue on 1300224636 or talk to your GP, local health professional or someone you trust.

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