Anthony Bourdain, the chef, writer and intrepid television presenter, had died at the age of 61.

Bourdain was found in his hotel room in France where he was filming an episode of his CNN program Parts Unknown. CNN confirmed the cause was suicide.

Tributes have flowed for the admired New York chef, who rose to fame after publishing his 2000 memoir Kitchen Confidential, a no-holds-barred look at the dark underbelly of the hospitality world.

Bourdain’s girlfriend, Italian actress and activist Asia Argento, said in a statement:

“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.

“My thoughts and prayers are with his family. I would ask that your respect their privacy and mine.”

Many who knew and admired Bourdain took to social media to express their grief.

He is survived by his 11-year-old daughter, Ariane.

As well as winning four Emmy awards for his travel series Parts Unknown (in one memorable episode he dined with former US president Barack Obama in a hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Vietnam) he published more than 10 books.

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