06/08/2018 12:17 EDT | Updated 06/09/2018 07:53 EDT

Anthony Bourdain Championed Canadian Cuisine, Was 'Resolute' In 'Love For Canada'

The American celebrity chef travelled to Canada for his hit shows.

Anthony Bourdain poses for a photo in Toronto on Oct. 31, 2016.
Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press
Anthony Bourdain poses for a photo in Toronto on Oct. 31, 2016.

As shock and sadness spreads over news of Anthony Bourdain's death, the renowned celebrity chef is being remembered as a champion of Canadian cuisine.

Bourdain, 61, was also an author and the host of a library of adventurous cooking shows such as Emmy award-winning "Parts Unknown." That show took him all over the world, including a recently-aired episode about Newfoundland and Labrador (which made headlines after a few of the often-outspoken chef's tweets ruffled some feathers).

Bourdain, who recently tweeted he was "resolute in my love for Canada," was found dead in his hotel room in France. He died by suicide, CNN confirmed.

"It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain," the network said in a statement.

"His love of great adventure, new friends, fine food and drink and the remarkable stories of the world made him a unique storyteller. His talents never ceased to amaze us and we will miss him very much. Our thoughts and prayers are with his daughter and family at this incredibly difficult time."


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Bourdain faced backlash over the Newfoundland and Labrador episode when he responded to those wondering why two Quebec chefs were travelling with him by saying the two "Frenchies" were "solely responsible for enticing me there."

In response to the media outcry, Bourdain tweeted that he was "resolute in my love for Canada" (its media outlets ... not so much).

Despite the Twitter controversy, Bourdain's episode helped raise the profile of Newfoundland's cuisine as the celebrity chef dined with local chefs on moose meat and authentic fish and chips, and visited the island of St. Pierre where he embarked on cod fishing and moose hunting excursions.

A rare, successful day shooting a fishing scene. Cod for dinner! #Newfoundland

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Bourdain was also hosted by Jeremy Charles, the head chef at Raymond's in St. John's, N.L. There, he fawned over the seafood tower, and called the menus "hyper-localized" and "wildly creative."

Bourdain was also vocal about his love of Quebec cuisine, and especially chefs Fred Morin and David McMillan of Joe Beef in Montreal. In May, he called the duo "more forceful and effective advocates for Canadian tourism than the Tourism Board."

As news of his death spread on Friday, the Montreal chefs who travelled with Bourdain for the Newfoundland episode of "Parts Unknown" responded on Twitter. Morin called Bourdain "loyal and kind," and tweeted an image of the ice shack they visited on the St. Lawrence river for a Quebec episode of "Parts Unknown."

"The two chefs served Bourdain an array of French classics, including foie gras over potato puree and chilled lobster a la Parisian. With heaps of black truffles aplenty, each dish was presented on vintage tableware. Wine pairings accompanied each course," CNN described the outing.

"Is there a billionaire or a despot anywhere on Earth who at this precise moment is eating better than us?" asked Bourdain in the episode.

In that episode, they also visited Cabane a Sucre Au Pied de Cochon, Restaurant Le Continental, L'Affaire est Ketchup, Liverpool House, Wilensky's and M Sur Masson.

Likely in response to Bourdain's death, McMillan simply tweeted an image of darkness.

In an interview with CBC Radio, McMillan said Bourdain was affable and blunt.

"Tony was approachable to anybody, would speak to everybody, he would drink with everybody," McMillan said. "It was a beautiful thing to see. It was very human."

His last memory of Bourdain was the six-hour ferry ride they took back to St. John's, he told CBC, where they just sat in the car, chatted, and listened to music.

"I'm still processing everything," he said of Bourdain's death.


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In 2013, Bourdain came to the defence of an issue not without controversy: the Canadian seal hunt. He urged fellow chefs not to boycott Canadian seafood products because of the hunt, saying it would "doom" Inuit people.

Bourdain spent time in an Inuit community in northern Quebec, where he participated in a hunt and a feast for an episode of "No Reservations."

In the episode, he called the hunt "both horror movie and heartwarming" and "A mixture of blood splattered butchery and loving nourishment. A meal like I've never experienced," according to CTV News.

Other Canadian chefs took to social media to express their grief on Friday, including Jen Agg of The Black Hoof, Kate Chomyshyn of Quetzal, Vice network star Matty Matheson, Vij's restaurant in Vancouver and Todd Perrin of Mallard Cottage.

Are you in a crisis? If you need help, contact Crisis Services Canada at their website or by calling 1-833-456-4566. If you know someone who may be having thoughts of suicide, visit CAMH's resource to learn how to talk about suicide with the person you're worried about.