Anthony Bourdain’s fans leave tributes at the restaurant where it all began

Anthony Bourdain’s fans leave tributes at the restaurant where it all began

(CNN) – Anthony Bourdain’s fans turned the restaurant where he shot to fame as a chef into a memorial, leaving roses and notes at New York’s Brasserie Les Halles.

Bourdain died Friday at 61.

He was in France working on an episode of his CNN series, “Parts Unknown,” when a friend found him unresponsive in his hotel room. The cause of death was suicide.

As the nation mourned the celebrated chef turned TV host, fans taped tributes on the door and walls of the shuttered French brasserie, where Bourdain worked as a chef in the 1990s.

“Thank you for what you gave to this world, a deeper understanding of culture and food,” one note said. “You have changed our lives forever. Love you forever.”

Others said he changed the way some of the most marginalized countries are viewed.

“Thank you for bringing a respectful view to the people of Palestine, Libya, Iran and more. You brought people together,” another note said.

Bourdain’s award-winning series, “Parts Unknown,” brought the world home to CNN viewers. It showcased the extraordinary diversity of cultures and cuisines and how much we all have in common — all through the simple act of sharing meals.

Before he got into television, he worked as a chef at the New York restaurant. While there, he wrote a behind-the-scenes look at the restaurant world and also the memoir “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly,” catapulting him into the realms of celebrity chefs.

“You are loved and will be sorely missed,” a note left at the restaurant said.

The gifted chef and storyteller used his books and shows to explore culture and cuisine. He spent years as a line cook and sous chef at restaurants in the Northeast before becoming executive chef at Manhattan’s Brasserie Les Halles.

A different passion — his writing — helped put him on the map by his early 40s.

Suicide is a growing problem in the United States, where rates have increased by 25% nationwide over nearly two decades ending in 2016. Twenty-five states experienced a rise in suicides by more than 30%, according to a government report published this week.

How to get help: In the US, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The International Association for Suicide Prevention and Befrienders Worldwide also can provide contact information for crisis centers around the world.