** Trigger warning: this article contains references to suicide.
Renowned chef, television host and traveller Anthony Bourdain passed away on June 8, 2018 — leaving countless people devasted by the loss of a man whose passion for food and foreign cultures inspired so many.
Bourdain died by suicide while on location for his award-winning series Parts Unknown, igniting deeper conversations around mental health — especially as the 61-year-olds death came just three days after famed fashion designer Kate Spade died in the same manner.
“He taught us about food—but more importantly, about its ability to bring us together,” former US president Barack Obama said in the wake of Bourdain’s passing. “To make us a little less afraid of the unknown.”
In celebration of what the chef, author and adventurer meant to the world, Oscar-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville has made a documentary titled Roadrunner, to tell the story of the celebrity chef, “in his own voice and in the way he indelibly impacted the world around him.”
The film uses a combination of footage from Bourdain’s cooking shows and documentaries, as well as home videos, behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with Bourdain’s closest friends and colleagues. It will be released in cinemas on Friday, 16th July.
Éric Ripert, Bourdain’s longtime friend and collaborator — who discovered his body after he had died — is one of the interviewees and is joined by restauranteur David Chang and longtime producer Tom Vitale. The Kills’ Alison Mosshart also appears but it is not yet known if Bourdain’s partner at the time of his death, actress Asia Argento, will be featured. Argento was one of the high-profile women who accused disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault.
Bourdain is survived by his daughter, Ariane, with ex-wife Ottavia Busia. The award-winning chef had been open about his past experiences with heroin addiction and substance abuse but credited his 2000 best-selling book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, as having changed his life.
His Travel Channel series Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, was honoured with two Emmy Awards, while Parts Unknown received five.
In February 2021 it was announced that Bourdain’s crime fiction novel Gone Bamboo would be adapted into a television series. The book is set on the Caribbean island of St. Martin and follows the story of Henry Denard, a “sharpshooting hedonistic assassin” who screws up the biggest hit of his career and enlists the help of his wife, Helen, to get the job done and keep the peace on the island.
His final book — World Travel: An Irreverent Guide — was published in April 2021, thanks to his longtime assistant Laurie Woolever who completed the book for Bourdain posthumously. The 480-page book provides travel advice along with an insight into Bourdain’s life through personal essays from his family, friends, and colleagues.
If you or anyone you know is struggling and needs support, call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or Lifeline on 13 11 14, both of which provide trained counsellors you can talk with 24/7. You can also speak with someone confidentially at Headspace by calling 1800 650 890 or chat online here.