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Anthony Bourdain, Middle East food advocate, dies in France

Bourdain was a highly-acclaimed chef, journalist, food critic and writer [Getty]

Date of publication: 8 June, 2018

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Celebrity chef and travel journalist Anthony Bourdain, has died aged 61 in France.
Highly-acclaimed food critic and travel writer Anthony Bourdain has died aged 61, ending a lifetime devoted to food and promoting cuisines from across the world, including those from the Middle East.

Bourdain was found unresponsive at his hotel room in the French version of Alsace, CNN reported, where he was filming his Parts Unknown travel and food series.

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

"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."
The cause of death is thought to be suicide, CNN said.

Bourdain was a highly-respected chef before he took to writing and broadcasting.

The American journalist travelled across the world, trying out cuisines and foods little-known to western audiences.

Bourdain visited the West Bank and Gaza during his Parts Unknown travel series, where he tried local dishes such as "maqlouba" and highlighted life under Israeli occupation.

In another episode he travelled to Oman, where he ate "shuwa", a local delicacy of slow-cooked meat.

Among his favourites countries he visited was Lebanon, with the food critic repeatedly hailing the local cuisine.

"The food's delicious, the people are awesome," Bourdain said about Beirut. 

"It's a party town. And everything wrong with the world is there. Hopefully, you will come back smarter about the world. You'll understand a little more about how uninformed people are when they talk about that part of the world. You’ll come back as I did: changed and cautiously hopeful and confused in the best possible way." 

Bourdain's favourite episode from the first series of Parts Unknown was his trip to Libya, while Iran was named as his top choice for series four of the programme.

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