It’s been almost six months since the sudden death of beloved chef Anthony Bourdain.
CNN confirmed the Parts Unknown host’s passing on June 8, stating that his cause of death was suicide. The network also reported that French chef Eric Ripert, a close friend of Bourdain’s, found him unresponsive in his hotel room that morning.
“Anthony was a dear friend. He was an exceptional human being, so inspiring and generous,” Ripert said in a statement in June. “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.”
Now, Ripert is opening up about their 20-year friendship in his first interview since Bourdain’s death.
“Anthony, we had 20 years of friendship, and friendship of course off television and on television, because I was invited on the show many times,” Ripert said on Friday’s CBS This Morning. “We were traveling and it was always tremendous fun.”
“Anthony was very curious by nature. Very respectful of cultures and he wanted to share with the public, his discoveries,” Ripert went on to say. “The idea was do not be scared of traveling and do not be scared going to other countries and do not stay at the resort, do not stay at the hotel and eat the normal menu. Just go out, go in the street and engage with people. Try the food and learn the culture from that experience and I think he did really well in breaking walls, right, in between us and other countries that we sometimes are a bit scared or nervous to visit and that was really a great part of his legacy.”
Talking more about their friendship, Ripert shared, “We used to play pranks on each other and we used to have a lot of fun, but he never criticized my food, which was nice.”
Following Bourdain’s death in early June, CNN released a statement, confirming his passing.
“It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain,” a spokesperson for the network said. “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.”