Eric Ripert Speaks Out for the First Time Since Discovering Friend Anthony Bourdain Dead by Suicide

Eric Ripert discovered Anthony Bourdain's body on June 8 in France, where Parts Unknown filming was underway.

Anthony Bourdain was working on filming for Parts Unknown in France when he died by suicide on June 8; Eric Ripert discovered his friend's body. Shortly after the tragic news broke, Ripert issued a statement that called Bourdain a "dear friend, exceptional human being," and "one of the greatest storytellers of our time." But he's only just begun to offer more revealing, personally held information — and now, for the first time since that day, he's opening up about the intimate details of the chefs' longtime friendship.

The chef and Le Bernandinco-owner told CBS This Morning, “We had 20 years of friendship on television and off television because I was invited on the show many times and we were traveling and it was always tremendous fun.”

He noted, as many have, that Bourdain was, "very respectful of cultures and he wanted to share with the public his discoveries," Ripert told CBS.

"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," Ripert explained. "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.”

He also shared some of the lighter, more intimate nuances of his relationship with Bourdain: "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.”

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “help” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

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