SAN FRANCISCO - Anthony Bourdain was well known for traveling across the globe highlighting culture and food for his adoring culinary fans. And he had a special place in his heart for the Bay Area.
Specifically, the celebrity chef took his wildly popular CNN series “Parts Unknown” to the Bay Area, stopping at restaurants Swan Oyster Depot in San Francisco, Trader Vic’s in Emeryville, and Minato in San Jose over the years.
His suicide, announced on Friday, shook Philiana Ng, who grew up in San Francisco, very hard. She said she loved his gritty style and got "straight to the truth, even if it was ugly."
“It’s sad he won’t be coming in here anymore”-Owner of Swan Oyster Depot in San Francisco devastated by the death of Anthony Bourdain. The chef & TV host visited the Polk Street restaurant at least 10 times. Bourdain called this one of his favorite places to eat in America.@KTVU pic.twitter.com/byzFIGEOAK— Alex Savidge (@AlexSavidgeKTVU) June 8, 2018
She also tweeted: "I learned about the world and its cuisine through Anthony Bourdain and his shows," she said. "His passion for food, people, storytelling was infectious. He went to my hometown, San Francisco, for 'Parts Unknown' and it gave me so much joy. His spirit will be missed."
While the 61-year-old Bourdain ate at restaurants all over the world, he said Swan's Oyster Depot was one of his favorites. He visited the restaurant on every occasion he came to San Francisco to order sea urchins and gulp down a beer. On Friday, there seemed to be a line longer than usual to eat at the no-frills seafood landmark.
Swan owner Kevin Sancimino told KTVU on Friday Bourdain "will be sorely missed. People were energized by him. They loved him."
Just as much as viewers and foodies loved Bourdain, the celebrity loved The City.
"San Francisco was built on toughness," he said in "Parts Unknown," season 6, episode 5. "It’s a boozy town, a saloon town, red meat, sex, and dirt.”
If you know anyone who needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Or text to 741-741.
KTVU's Alex Savidge contributed to this report.