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Anthony Bourdain fans flock to Les Halles to pay their respects

The late chef helmed the kitchen of the Park Avenue restaurant in the late 1990s.

Fans gather to remember Anthony Bourdain at the

Fans gather to remember Anthony Bourdain at the shuttered Brasserie Les Halles at 411 Park Ave. S. on Sunday. Photo Credit: Abigail Weinberg

News of Anthony Bourdain’s death continues to shake fans of the influential chef, author and TV personality.

The 61-year-old was working on an episode of “Parts Unknown” when he was found dead Friday in France, according to CNN. He apparently committed suicide, CNN said.

Since Friday, mourners have gathered to leave flowers and messages at Brasserie Les Halles, the now-shuttered Park Avenue restaurant where Bourdain became the executive chef in 1998 and immortalized the experience in his 2000 bestseller, “Kitchen Confidential.”

“He brought people out of their reality into a different world,” said Jennifer Story, 36, a personal chef from Los Angeles, who visited the restaurant, located between East 28th and East 29th streets, on Sunday. “He touched the lives of chefs, everyday people, drug addicts, everybody.”

Other visitors were fans of Bourdain’s television programs. Morgan Bulman, 24, fondly remembered spending a summer watching “No Reservations” and called Bourdain’s death a “personal loss.”

“When I moved to New York, I always told people if there’s one person I wanted to cross paths with, it’s Anthony Bourdain,” she said.

Ruth Carhuff recalled Bourdain’s interview with Iranian-American journalist Jason Rezaian on “Parts Unknown.”

“He was a diplomat,” she said. “You can get a master’s in diplomacy, but that doesn’t mean anything until you go out and engage with people.”

Torn notebook pages and Post-it notes taped to the shuttered restaurant windows included messages such as “You made me feel normal” and “Thanks for making the world a better place.”

Bourdain was born in New York City and grew up in New Jersey. He attended the Culinary Institute of America before working at New York City restaurants including the Supper Club, One Fifth Avenue and Ed Sullivan’s.

While at Les Halles, he found fame after the publication of “Kitchen Confidential.”

Bourdain went on to star in the Emmy Award-winning travel and food shows “No Reservations” and “Parts Unknown.” He was known for his irreverent sense of humor and willingness to go anywhere and eat anything. He was also open about his battle with drug addiction in his 20s.

Bourdain’s death came three days after Kate Spade was found dead in an apparent suicide, and one day after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a nationwide increase in suicide rates from 1999 to 2016.

If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or suicidal crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. If it is a medical emergency, call 911.


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