Who Is Eric Ripert? New Details About The Chef Who Found Anthony Bourdain

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Who Is Eric Ripert? New Details About The Chef Who Found Anthony Bourdain

He was Anthony's best friend.

Who is Eric Ripert? Eric Ripert has been in the spotlight for years as a world-renowned chef but Friday he made headlines for a tragic reason.

The French chef found his good friend, Anthony Bourdain, unresponsive in a hotel room Friday morning. Bourdain, 61, died of an apparent suicide and Ripert was heartbroken.

“Anthony was a dear friend,” Eric Ripert told The New York Times. “He was an exceptional human being, so inspiring and generous. One of the great storytellers of our time who connected with so many. I wish him peace. My love and prayers are with his family, friends and loved ones.”

So who is Anthony Bourdain’s best friend, Eric Ripert?

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1. He began his culinary career at 17.

Ripert attended culinary school when he was 15 years old and landed his first job at a restaurant two years later, according to his profile on Le Bernardin.

In 1990, at the young age of 17, Ripert moved to Paris to cook at the famous La Tour D’Argent.

2. He moved to the United States in 1989 as a chef.

Ripert scored an opportunity to work beneath Jean-Louis Palladin as sous-chef at Jean Louis and moved to Washington, D.C. to work at Watergate Hotel.

Two years later, the young chef decided to take a job as David Bouley’s sous-chef in New York City. He later became a chef at Maguy before Gilbert Le Coze recruited him as chef for Le Bernardin, where he is most widely known as a chef.

3. He has been recognized as one of the world’s best chefs.

Ripert was named “Top Chef in New York City” by the James Beard Foundation and “Outstanding Chef in the United States” in 2003.

He wonr two Daytime Emmy Awards for his first TV show, AVEC ERIC, which had two seasons.

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4. Ripert and Bourdain were friends for nearly 20 years.

The chefs became friends when Ripert called Bourdain to applaud his latest book, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, which was realeased in 2001.

"Seventy-five percent of the industry was saying, 'it's scandalous' and 'this guy is a disgrace.' Then part of the industry was saying, 'he's genius.’ I called him and said, 'I read your book, and I would love to know you. Would you come for lunch?' That was the first time I met Anthony, and we have been friends ever since,” Ripert told Hamptons Magazine in 2012.

The two had been good friends for almost two decades.

“We have a great friendship and great respect,” Ripert told CNN’s Explore Parts Unknown in 2017. “It’s very simple. We’re very good friends. We laugh and it’s comfortable because we can be calm, and sometimes we don’t speak at all and we’ll be happy together. I think he likes that a lot. The shooting is very intense and he’s traveling a lot, and he needs to have a moment of peace during the day, and I think if he was with someone not feeling comfortable with silence and was asking questions and forcing him to talk, he would be very uncomfortable. Also, we don’t see each other a lot so it makes quite a difference, and opportunity to be together.”

5. He and Bourdain appeared on multiple shows together.

Ripert appeared as a guest on the Travel Channel’s No Reservations and CNN’s Parts Unknown. They also made an appearance together on the Food Network’s A Cook’s Life.

Bourdain was reportedly working on an upcoming episode of Parts Unknown in France when he died, Business Insider reports.

6. He has a wife and child.

Ripert is married to Sandra Ripert, whom he shares his son, Adrien Ripert.

7. He found Bourdain’s body.

CNN announced Friday morning that Ripert had found Bourdain dead in a French hotel room.

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Sarah Gangraw is a travel-addicted cat lady who lives on black coffee and cheese. She went to college in Australia, graduated from the University of Central Florida, and writes about all things news and crime. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter — she's occasionally funny.