Anthony Bourdain Fans Turn the Late Chef's Former New York Restaurant Les Halles Into a Memorial
After news broke of the chef's death, fans paid tribute to him with flowers and handwritten messages.
Although Anthony Bourdain was well-known for traveling to unique places on his show Parts Unknown, his fans are paying tribute to him in the wake of his death at the place where it all began: Les Halles.
Bourdain, 61, who died of an apparent suicide in France on Friday, spent decades working in restaurant kitchens, and worked as the executive chef of the French brasserie for eight years when he submitted an essay to The New Yorker that focused on the misconceptions of the restaurant industry and its darker side. In 2000, that essay sparked a memoir that rocked the industry entitled Kitchen Confidential.
Les Halles had two locations in New York City, the first of which was on Park Avenue and closed down in 2016, and the second FiDi location followed suit in 2017, but on Friday, the signage was still up on both, despite the doors being locked and windows boarded up. Fans visited both locations of the former restaurant to mourn Bourdain’s death, placing bouquets of flowers in the door handles and overflowing them onto the sidewalk. They also taped handwritten cards, sticky notes and photographs to the storefront.
People who visited the growing memorial posted close-up pictures of some of the messages on Twitter.
“1956-2018. Rest in Peace Mr. Bourdain,” one message reads. “You are loved and will be sorely missed.” The note, which was placed under a smiling picture of the Parts Unknown host, also shared the number for the Suicide Prevention Hotline with the phrase, “you are not alone.”
Another message thanks the chef for bringing a “respectful view” of Palestinians, Libyans, Iranians, and people of other Middle Eastern countries. “You brought people together,” reads the message, before offering condolences to Bourdain’s 11-year-old daughter Ariane and girlfriend Asia Argento. “Ariane and Asia, you have all of our love.”
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Fans continued to crowd around the store throughout the weekend, with the tributes growing in both locations. In one photograph posted on Twitter, it seems a fan placed a pack of Marlboro Reds, Bourdain’s smoke of choice, in front of the restaurant’s doors.
The beloved chef died from an apparent suicide at a luxury hotel in Kayersberg called Le Chambard, French police confirmed to PEOPLE, who said “at this stage, nothing suggests the intervention of a third party.”
“It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain,” CNN 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.”
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “help” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.