The 61-year-old was in France working on an upcoming episode of his award-winning American travel and food show, Parts Unknown.
Bourdain’s close friend, French chef Eric Ripert, who appeared on a number of Bourdain’s shows, found him unresponsive on Friday morning. Bourdain was staying at Le Chambard, in the village of Kaysersberg.
“Anthony was a dear friend,” Mr. Ripert said in a statement. “He was an exceptional human being, so inspiring and generous. One of the great storytellers of our time who connected with so many. I wish him peace. My love and prayers are with his family, friends and loved ones.”
Bourdain’s girlfriend, actress Asia Argento released a statement on Twitter and Instagram yesterday, writing: “Anthony gave all of himself in everything that he did. His brilliant, fearless spirit touched and inspired so many, and his generosity knew no bounds”.
“He was my love, my rock, my protector. I am beyond devastated,” she continued.
Bourdain first met 42-year-old Italian actress Argento in late 2016, when she appeared on an episode of Parts Unknown in Rome.
“She’s a really accomplished director and writer along with being a longtime actress and a real sponge for culture, music, literature,” Bourdain told People last year.
Although Bourdain spent nearly 70 per cent of the year working on Parts Unknown, the couple’s relationship worked because they both shared an exceptional work ethic.
“This woman likes to work. She is strong, independent, creative, and needs to have an obsession, needs to make things,” he told People earlier this year.
“I think we’re both relieved by the fact that we both respect each other’s work. Nobody’s ever going to say, ‘Oh, but you promised we were going to go to the beach.’ No, you get a gig, that’s it. Work first.”
Bourdain and Argento often worked together, with Argento recently directing an episode of Parts Unknown.
“Look, anytime I can get work out of Asia… that’s a huge help to the show,” Bourdain told IndieWire.