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LA Food World Reacts to Anthony Bourdain’s Death

Chefs, restaurateurs, and food media express shock and sadness

Anthony Bourdain at In-N-Out
Matthew Kang is the Lead Editor of Eater LA. He has covered dining, restaurants, food culture, and nightlife in Los Angeles since 2008. He's the host of K-Town, a YouTube series covering Korean food in America, and has been featured in Netflix's Street Food show.

The world lost one of its most beloved figures today, as Anthony Bourdain was found dead at the age of 61. Bourdain was discovered at a hotel in France, where he was filming an episode of his CNN show Parts Unknown. Today, the food world has overflowed with condolences and reactions to the death of one of its most notable personalities. Here in Los Angeles, chefs, restaurateurs, and luminaries react with sadness, shock, and sorrow to Bourdain’s sudden death. And here’s a tribute to all the ways Anthony Bourdain loved the city of Los Angeles, its people, its culture, and its food.

Nyesha Arrington, chef of Native: “In 2015, I got to finally have the most inspiring conversation with you on the set of The Taste... so eloquent, so thoughtful w your words, so empathetic to mankind. You have played a huge role in my life as a Chef and will be missed beyond words.” [Instagram]

Ludo Lefebvre, who co-hosted The Taste with Bourdain, chef of Trois Mec and Petit Trois:

Roy Choi, who appeared with Bourdain multiple times on television shows:

RIP, Tony.

A post shared by Roy Choi (@ridingshotgunla) on

Evan Kleiman, host of KCRW’s Good Food and former owner of Angeli Caffe:

Bricia Lopez, co-owner of Guelaguetza: “Still in disbelief you’re gone. My heart aches for you and your family Chef. You inspired an entire generation and created a food movement that changed so many peoples lives, including my own.” [Instagram]

Jonathan Whitener, chef and co-owner of Here’s Looking at You: “Crazy! I have no words that can express the sadness I feel right now! Rest In Peace big dog!” [Instagram]

Ria Dolly Barbosa, chef at Paramount Coffee Project: “F***. Noooo... It’s hard to move this morning.” [Instagram]

Johnathan Gold, LA Times critic who spoke about Bourdain on KPCC this morning: “When he did his first show out of here sometime in the early 00s, he was intent on making it not just about Spago, which he could have made about. He was the chef of an extremely good French restaurant at the time. He wanted to show the rest of the city. He went to places like Sapp Coffee Shop, which is a wonderful place that makes noodles in Thai Town that had at that time almost no non-Thai customers. He went and talked to people growing food in South LA, he celebrated the tacos and burgers. Not in the superficial way that got picked up later by other people, but as a way to understand the people of the city he was reporting from.” [KPCC]

Mei Lin, Top Chef winner and chef at Nightshade:

Bill Esparza, author of L.A. Mexicano and Eater LA contributor:

Giselle Wellman, Top Chef Season 13 contestant: “You inspired us all to work harder, stay creative, travel, and try more! You will truly be missed! I am crushed. This is so sad. Finding life work balance is a true struggle as a chef. We have to do something about the amount of talented chefs we lose to suicide.” [Instagram]

Evan Funke, chef of Felix: “As a young cook, I had a hero and his name was Tony.” [Instagram]

Phillip Frankland Lee, chef and owner of Scratch Bar: “I don’t think I would be who I am today without Kitchen Confidential. I never read the book but I used to go in early off the clock and prep and test ideas when I was still a line cook with earphones in listening to it on tape over and over narrated by the man himself.” [Facebook]

Sang Yoon, chef of Father’s Office and Lukshon: “Tony took us to places we’ve never been and made us all want to pack our bags. He introduced us to people we’ve never met but made us feel like old friends. We all got to sit at his table wherever he went and eat and drink like kings. A courageous storyteller. Always pithy, passionate, flawed yet perfect. You were an idol to so many of us. You will never be forgotten. May your darkness fade to light. Peace be with you sir.” [Instagram]

Phil Rosenthal, host of Netflix’s Somebody Feed Phil:

Kris Yenbamroong, owner of Night + Market:

We lost a real one. The realest. Rest in power @anthonybourdain ✊

A post shared by NIGHT+MARKET (@ntmrkt) on

David Chang, of Majordomo and Netflix’s Ugly Delicious:

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: