NEW YORK — Celebrity chef and television host Anthony Bourdain was many things.
Genuine. Inquisitive. Irreverent.
And in spite of his uncanny ability to both entertain and inform, by using an intoxicating mix of food and good conversation, Bourdain was also clearly troubled, more than we ever knew.
Bourdain committed suicide by hanging, his body discovered by a friend Friday morning inside his hotel room in France, where he was filming an upcoming episode of his show, "Parts Unknown" on CNN, which announced his death on the air to viewers around the world.
At the now closed restaurant on Park Avenue, Les Halles, where Bourdain, early in his career, served as executive chef, posted notes echoed the sentiments of his shocked fans.
“I think it’s a wonderful tribute," Arlene Behmer said. "Because I’ve been watching him, and I love watching him throughout the world. I just feel so bad that he left his daughter and he did what he did."
Bourdain got his start in the restaurant business as a teenager. It’s also when he began a long battle with drug addiction.
“Someone who wakes up in the morning, and their first order of business, is to get heroin, uh – I know what that’s like,” Bourdain said in an old interview.
But Bourdain’s well-documented troubles seem to be behind him.
“He was one of those figures that everyone looked up to, and gave you hope that you can make it,” Chef Michael Ferraro said.
“Everywhere in the world we go, and ask these very simple questions, we tend to get some very astonishing answers,” Bourdain told a crowd as he accepted a George F. Peabody Award.
But psychologist Dr. Jeff Gardere, who we interviewed earlier this week following fashion designer Kate Spade’s suicide – also by hanging – reminds us of the danger of putting too much stock into just how great things look - on the surface.
“Someone can look like they have it all, and therefore we ignore them, and say oh whatever they’re going through, they can work it out, because they’re so strong,” Dr. Gardere said.