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NEW YORK (CBSMiami) – Friends, fans, and restaurants around the world are paying tribute to Anthony Bourdain.
The celebrity chef, food writer, and TV host was found dead in his hotel room in France on Friday.
From President Barack Obama in Vietnam to a family in Senegal, no guest was too big or too small for Bourdain as he shared his fearless passion for food, travel, and culture.
Last week, Bourdain was shooting his award- winning CNN series “parts unknown” in France. The New York Times reports his friend Eric Ripert became concerned when Bourdain missed dinner Thursday and breakfast Friday.
Ripert later found Bourdain unresponsive in his hotel room, according to CNN.
While Bourdain’s shows didn’t shy away from his struggles with drugs and depression, the larger goal was to expose lesser-known cuisines and restaurants.
Jason Wang is the CEO of the New York City restaurant chain Xi’an Famous Foods.
“I credit Tony with definitely with, you know, helping us – helping put our business on the map,” Wang said.
Wang explains that what began in 2005 as a small enclave in an underground food court in Queens quickly expanded after Bourdain visited for an episode of “No Reservations.”
“This is place is unbelievable,” Bourdain said of Xi’an. “This place is great. I’ve never had anything like this before.”
Xi’an now has a dozen locations.
“He’s our biggest benefactor, you know, he’s really someone that really promoted us in the early days,” Wang said.
Wang donated 100% of their sales on Friday, some $73,000, to the national suicide prevention lifeline.
“If that’s something that we can prevent then I feel like that’s the appropriate action to do,” Wang said.
If you are having suicidal thoughts or would like to speak with someone, the suicide prevention lifeline number is 1- 800- 273- 8255.
Three days before Bourdain’s death, designer Kate Spade also died by suicide.
After her death, calls to the national suicide prevention lifeline jumped about 25% last week.