Barack Obama Reacts To Anthony Bourdain's Death With Touching Show Tribute

By Isha Thorpe

June 8, 2018

On Friday (June 8), news broke that celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain was found dead at the age of 61. CNN reported that the cause of death was suicide. 

"It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain," CNN's statement read. "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."

Bourdain's CNN series, "Parts Unknown," was loved by millions of his fans. On the program, the chef would venture off to different parts of the world and eat exotic dishes, while teaching his fans about food and the cultures that the meals stemmed from. Bourdain would also invite guests on his show, as well. Perhaps the most well-respected guest that the cook ever sat down and ate with on "Parts Unknown" was Former President Barack Obama.

In early 2017, the episode that featured the former prez aired. Bourdain would later reveal in a CNN-published recap that he didn't know that he would be visited by Obama until the day before filming. But, he was very excited and grateful for the experience, nonetheless. They both sat down in a small restaurant in Vietnam in the segment and had a blast. 

"What can I tell you about what it's like to sit across from the President of the United States and drink beer from the bottle?" the chef wrote on CNN. "I can tell you that Barack Obama was, in spite of having had a high-ranking leader of the Taliban whacked in Pakistan a few days previous, very relaxed and at ease. He seemed to enjoy himself sitting on a low plastic stool eating noodles and pork bits with chopsticks.

"I talked to him as a father, as an enthusiast for the region, and he responded with real nostalgia for the Indonesian and Hawaiian street food of his youth," Bourdain continued. "He was funny, quick to laugh... He put my crew at ease. Was kind to them. So much so that we were not nervous while we were with him. Only afterward, when he had gone, did we all look at each other and say, 'Did that just HAPPEN?'"

This moment meant a lot to Former President Barack Obama, as well. When he heard about Bourdain's tragic death, the previous commander-in-chief tweeted his condolences. “Low plastic stool, cheap but delicious noodles, cold Hanoi beer,” Obama captioned a photo of himself and the chef. "This is how I’ll remember Tony. He taught us about food — but more importantly, about its ability to bring us together. To make us a little less afraid of the unknown. We’ll miss him." See that message below.

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