CNN confirmed on Friday night that chef Anthony Bourdain had taken his own life at 61.
The network aired his latest show and what I think is his greatest show – Parts Unknown.
In its 11th season, the program took the viewer to places in the world most of us could only dream about.
Bourdain was in France working on an episode of Parts Unknown when he died.
It was Bourdain as a host that made Parts Unknown a truly special show.
From visiting places like the Bronx, to the Congo, to Palestine, he used the unique food culture of these places to learn more about the people who lived there.
Here are five reasons you should stream Parts Unknown now and get to know Bourdain a bit better.
1 It will make you feel good about the world
For all our differences, people deep down are all the same.
We all eat and we all crave to be understood. Food is a reflection of the history of a region and says a lot about country’s circumstances. Bourdain understood this.
The people Bourdain interviews on this show seem genuinely delighted to share their day to day lives, food and culture, it warms the heart.
2 He is a natural interviewer
The best hard-hitting journalists could learn a lot from Bourdain.
He would get more information out of his subject over a beer and a bowl of noodles than most.
There’s something about sharing a meal that breaks down inhibitions and encourages people to share their thoughts and feelings.
3 It will make you want to visit some seriously out there places
I’ve never wanted to visit the West Bank or Gaza, but after watching Parts Unknown I suddenly had the urge to go there.
Bourdain had a talent for making the most hospitable places look attractive and it’s because he let the people who lived in these places shine. He gave a human face to conflicts in a way that is rarely done.
The episode set in Iran is searingly insightful – Bourdain opens with the line “I am so confused, it wasn’t supposed to be like this, of all the places, all the countries, it is here in Iran that I’m greeted most warmly by total strangers”.
During this episode, Bourdain interviewed The Washington Post’s correspondent Jason Rezaian and his wife Yeganah Salehi.
A few weeks later Rezaian and Salehi were arrested and detained, among this culture of congenial, welcoming people.
The show is more than just food and cooking.
4 It’s smart
Bourdain’s thoughts on what makes the places he visits unique makes Parts Unknown different to any other travel and food show out there.
He doesn’t lecture, just presents the people and cultures for who they are, and lets the viewer make up their own mind.
5 He’s funny and larger than life
Most episodes have serious themes, but there’s Bourdain with his dark humour, swearing, oftentimes sweating, his shirt ruffled and full of drink.
He has an authenticity on the screen that makes the viewer feel like they truly knew the man himself.
Vale Anthony Bourdain.
If you are depressed or needing help you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14.