Written by Emily Eng

What happened?

It’s been a sad week. Anthony Bourdain- writer, chef and award-winning host, was found dead in his French hotel bathroom in a case of apparent suicide on Friday morning. He was only 61 years old.

Eric Ripert, a longtime friend of Bourdain’s, had found Bourdain unresponsive in his room when he and a receptionist entered after failing to reach Bourdain on his cellphone. Both of them had been filming an episode of the CNN series Parts Unknown in Kaysersberg, France.

French authorities confirmed later that Bourdain had hung himself with a bathrobe belt. They did not suspect any foul play in his death as there was no violence found on his body, nor did they believe that the suicide was planned. After running toxicology tests, the authorities were ready to return his body to his family.

Bourdain’s death was shocking- many remembered him dearly for his gift of storytelling, his inspiring many through his love for food and culture, and reminisced how he used to champion for the rights of the underprivileged especially in the restaurant industry.

“He taught us about food — but more importantly, about its ability to bring us together,” Barack Obama wrote in response to Bourdain’s death. “To make us a little less afraid of the unknown. We’ll miss him.”


Why is there a need to talk about this?

Bourdain’s death was not the only one mourned across the world this week. Kate Spade, founder of the lively and cheery fashion brand named after her, was also found dead by suicide. The only thing she left behind was a suicide note addressed to her daughter.

Mental health cannot, and should not, be overlooked.

Staff, who were reeling from the impact of the death, helped to shed some light on what happened on his final day. He had spent most of it dining and drinking wine. According to them, Bourdain “looked pretty happy”.

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