Chef Eric Ripert, the person who found Anthony Bourdain in his hotel room on the day he committed suicide, has revealed he knew something was wrong with his friend when he did not show up to their dinner plans.
Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain was found dead in his hotel room in France. He was staying at the Le Chambard hotel in Kaysberg, shooting for an episode of his show, Parts Unknown. The television personality is thought to have killed himself. His friend, Eric Ripert, executive chef at Manhattan’s Le Bernadin, detected that something wrong with Bourdain in the days leading up to the tragedy.
At the hotel where he was staying, Bourdain had a routine of eating breakfast and dinner with Ripert at the hotel pub. The night before he was found, he did not show up for dinner. The next morning, he didn’t show up for breakfast either. A waiter at the pub told The Times, “We thought it was strange. Mr Ripert thought it was strange. His friend was waiting at breakfast. And waiting and waiting.”
Bourdain was scheduled to film at an outdoor market after breakfast. The camera crew were ready and waiting but the chef was nowhere to be found. It was then that Ripert decided to take matters into his own hands; he asked the hotel receptionist to unlock the hotel room door. Inside, they would find Bourdain’s body hanging from the bathroom ceiling.
The crew were allegedly completely taken by surprise when they found out what had happened. Christine Speisser, who was scheduled to show Bourdain around the market, told People, “Everyone just sat on the ground [when they heard what had happened].”
Ripert posted a tribute for his friend on Instagram, saying, “Anthony was my best friend. He was an exceptional human being, so inspiring and generous. One of the great storytellers of our time who connected with so many around the world on a level rarely seen. He brought us all on some incredible journeys. I pray he is at peace from the bottom of my heart. My love and prayers are also with his family, friends, loved ones and everyone that knew him.”
Another source told People that Bourdain’s work schedule may have been the reason behind his depression. The source said, “His travel schedule was grueling and he often seemed quite beat-up from it, as anyone would be. He’d put everything into the shoots and then go back to his room to isolate. It never struck me as peculiar, but it was as if he gave everything to his work and then had nothing, zero, left for himself afterwards.”
The source added, “He was always very, very tried. He pushed himself extremely hard. Most producers and crew don’t work on every single episode, it’s just too much especially if you have a family. But that wasn’t an option for Tony. We never had any sense of depression or mental illness. He was not especially cheerful or engaging, off camera, but it was never rude or ill-intentioned. The guy was absolutely exhausted.”
Bourdain spent about 250 days a year traveling to different cities and countries to test out cuisines and explore food cultures.