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Charleston Chefs React to the Death of Anthony Bourdain

Chefs, hospitality industry members, and others share their sadness and gratitude for the outspoken food icon

Erin Perkins is the editor of Eater Carolinas, covering the food and restaurant scene across North and South Carolina.

Anthony Bourdain, the notable chef, author, and television host, has died at the age of 61. CNN reported that he was found “unresponsive” in his hotel room in France this morning by his friend, chef Eric Ripert. The cause of death is reported to be suicide.

Charleston chefs and industry people have been sharing their tributes, recollections, and favorite quotes from the outspoken rock-star chef this today.

Chef Sean Brock spoke to Eater this morning with the following reaction:

I will dearly miss my friend Anthony Bourdain.

Whether it is mental illness, substance abuse, or anything else that may cause pain: suffering is not shameful and asking for help is not weakness.

This serves as a reminder that just because people appear to be living a “perfect” life, they may be struggling and need help.

If we don’t take care of ourselves, we can’t take care of the ones we love.

Every life is so incredibly valuable and equally as fragile.

Other food and beverage names in Charleston posted their thoughts on social media.

Chef Vinson Petrillo shared a photo of him and Bourdain at Zero Restaurant + Bar, writing, “I wish I could have been like you.”

Today is a sad day, I wish I could have been like you. RIP

A post shared by Vinson Petrillo (@vpetrillo) on

The Griffon Pub posted a photo of Bourdain and Brock from the filming of the Charleston episode of Parts Unknown.

A post shared by The Griffon (@thegriffonpub) on

Chef Emily Hahn of the Getaway told a story about cooking dinner for Bourdain.

Short Grain chef Shuai Wang posted a quote from Barack Obama.

Former Butter Tapas chef April Robinson talked about the importance of support in the food and beverage community.

Last weekend I had the pleasure of participating in Atlanta Food and Wine. It was great experience but one of the best parts was the Nourishing you BREAKfast. Me and my greedy butt thought I was going to a special breakfast for The talent before we started it day. While they did serve muffins this BREAKfast was about the magnitude of mental illness and depression in this field. As I looked around and realized I wasn’t going to be eating I knew this was exactly were I needed to be. After coming from 5 years of running a restaurant/ bakery and losing my father 6 months ago. I feared the sunken place. I was told to sit down, relax, be still etc but in this high paced push push business it’s hard to know when. Its hard to have certain conversations out of fear appearing weak or less than. This is what we talked about at BREAKfast @atlfoodandwine PEOPLE, CHEFS, DESIGNERS, DOCTORS, LAWYERS, ATHLETES, ENTERTAINERS. I encourage you to speak out! Take time for YOU! People sometimes give so much of THEMSELVES that they forget about THEM! Always being accessible, ON! That shit is draining. I encourage you shut down and say F everything! Miss a few days of work, the kids will be ok, the fans will be ok, the club or organization will be ok! The world needs you! You need you. I pray for sound mind for everyone out there battling self! #checkonyourstrongfriends They need to be weak and feel it’s ok to be. #knowtopray

A post shared by April Robinson (@msbuttaworth843) on

The Getaway dedicated tonight’s service to Bourdain.

Effin B Radio creator Lindsay Collins recalled the time Bourdain came into Per Se.

Queen Street Grocery paid tribute to Bourdain with a special.

Xao Bao Biscuit credited Bourdain for many of today’s cooks.

RIP. To the reason so many cooks today found their way into the kitchen.

A post shared by Xiao Bao Biscuit (@xiaobaobiscuit) on

Southern Fork podcast creator Stephanie Burt offered, “Anthony Bourdain was my John Lennon.”

He changed my life and I did not know him.

A post shared by Southernfork (@southernfork) on

Warehouse called Bourdain a legend.

The Legend. #restwell @anthonybourdain

A post shared by We Are Warehouse (@wearewarehouse) on

Inspired by Bourdain, the Royal America told followers to “Leave your comfort zone.”

Cru Cafe/Purlieu chef Jon Zucker shared about the time he met Bourdain at the now-defunct Big John’s Tavern.

"I met Anthony Bourdain years ago at Big Johns. Everyone was his friend. That night my family was in town and we had...

Posted by Cru Cafe on Friday, June 8, 2018

2 Nixons chef Jeffrey Stoneberger talked about sharing a beer with Bourdain.

If you or anyone you know is considering suicide or self-harm or is anxious, depressed, upset, or needs to talk, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text the Crisis Text Line at 741-741. For international resources, here is a good place to begin.