News broke on Friday that chef, journalist and documentarian Anthony Bourdain had taken his own life in the Alsace region of France, where he was shooting an episode of his CNN series Parts Unknown.
Tributes flowed in from around the world – in Melbourne, one came in the form of a wall-sized homage. Bourdain fans passing through Hosier Lane in the CBD will recognise a familiar face, with a mural of the late chef and writer, accompanied by the quote, “If a man does not have the sauce, then he is lost. But the same man can be lost in the sauce.”
Bourdain’s 2000 memoir, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly is acclaimed for its unvarnished, candid insight into the world of the professional cook. While the mental and physical toll professional kitchens take on its staff is, in 2018, an acknowledged issue, Bourdain’s essays were at the time revelatory for a reading public who, until then, knew only the glamorous facade of restaurants and fine dining.
The late chef leaves behind a young daughter, who served as the inspiration for his 2016 cookbook, Appetites: A Cookbook. Speaking to Broadsheet in the lead up to its release, Bourdain’s love of food and its ability to bring people together was clear: he described having “uncontrollable urges to smother the people I love with food”.
If you or anyone you know are experiencing mental health issues or suicidal thoughts contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyondblue on 1300 224 636. If it is an emergency call 000.