Culture

What Anthony Bourdain's Daughter Ariane Said About His Cooking

Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain was found dead from an apparent suicide Friday. He was 61 years old and left behind an 11-year-old daughter, Ariane Bourdain.

“It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain,” CNN said Friday, confirming his death. “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.”

Bourdain had Ariane with his ex-wife, Ottavia Busia. The celebrity chef was in his 50s when his daughter was born; he later disclosed that he knew he wanted to be a father.

“I guess my whole life, as much as I might have wanted a child for the reason that everybody wants one, I always recognized that at no point until I was 50 was I old enough or up to the job,” he told Takeout.com in 2016. “I thought, you know what, I not only really want a child, but at this point finally in my life I think I’m up to the job, and I’m the type of person who could do the job well, and I’m financially prepared to look after a child.”

Ariane liked to criticize her father’s cooking. “She’s a very harsh critic. You know, I put a tiny, tiny, little bit of nutmeg in my macaroni and cheese, and she did not enjoy that. She called me on it right away,” he recalled.

In February, Bourdain told People magazine his daughter gave him something to live for, though he struggled. “There have been times, honestly, in my life that I figured, ‘I’ve had a good run—why not just do this stupid thing, this selfish thing… jump off a cliff into water of indeterminate depth,'” he said.

The beloved chef talked about being self-destructive before his daughter was born. “I was, frankly, asking for trouble. It was a daredevil move,” he said. “In retrospect, I don’t know that I would do that today—now that I’m a dad or reasonably happy.”

If you have thoughts of suicide, confidential help is available for free at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Call 1-800-273-8255. The line is available 24 hours a day, every day.

Updated story and headline with additional reporting.

Read a note from Newsweek's editor in chief about covering suicide.

Screen Shot 2018-06-08 at 7 Chef Anthony Bourdain in New York City on June 2, 2016. He died from an apparent suicide, leaving behind his 11-year-old daughter, Ariane. Mike Coppola/Getty Images