Jean-Georges Vongerichten Says Anthony Bourdain Was Set to Dine With Him This Weekend

Anthony Bourdain Jean-Georges Vongerichten - Getty - H 2018
Michael Loccisano/Getty

Bourdain, the celebrity chef and host of CNN’s 'Parts Unknown,' died of apparent suicide on Friday.

Anthony Bourdain was with close friend and fellow chef Eric Ripert near Strasbourg, France, when Ripert found Bourdain dead in his hotel room of apparent suicide. Bourdain was 61.

The friends were working on an upcoming episode for Bourdain’s CNN series Parts Unknown. The 11th season launched just last month.

Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten tells The Hollywood Reporter he had invited Bourdain and Ripert to dine at his mother’s home near Kayersberg on Sunday, speaking on Friday after learning of Bourdain's death.

"Two days ago, I posted the big story the New York Times did about Maguy Lecoze [owner of Le Bernardin], and Eric [Ripert] called to thank me for posting," Vongerichten, of Jean-Georges Beverly Hills, explains to THR. "He said he was in Alsace with Anthony [Bourdain], in Kaysersberg right near my home. They were staying in a small hotel for 10 days, so I said, 'My mom is a wonderful cook and she would love to cook for you on Sunday.' He wasn't sure because they had a big crew with them."

Vongerichten also shared memories of the beloved chef and TV personality.

"I remember first meeting him when he was chef at Les Halles," he says of Bourdain. "I came in to dinner with some friends at 9:30 p.m. and he was outside smoking a cigarette and we started talking. Then he came to interview me about Asian street food when I did Spice Market and a month ago, he came in to The Public to interview a rock singer and we fed them."

Adding, "I called Eric today — he was his best friend, and we will all miss him dearly.” 

Bourdain and Le Bernardin chef Ripert have long appeared on television together, including No Reservations from 2007 to 2012. Just last week, Bourdain wrote in THR about his "cinematic dream" filming Parts Unknown with Asia Argento and Christopher Doyle in Hong Kong. 

Alec Baldwin, Rose McGowan, Mandy Moore, Megyn Kelly and Argento — Bourdain's partner — were just some of the Hollywood figures to remember the chef and urge others to get help. On Friday afternoon, Ripert also spoke out, saying on Twitter, "Anthony was my best friend. An exceptional human being, so inspiring and generous. One of the great storytellers who connected with so many. I pray he is at peace from the bottom of my heart."