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Celebrity chef, author and TV host Anthony Bourdain was found dead Friday in his hotel room in France. He was 61.

CNN, his employer, confirmed the news and called his death a suicide, according to USA Today.

“Like so many in the culinary world, I was shocked to hear of Anthony Bourdain's passing," said noted Des Moines chef and restaurateur, George Formaro. "He was an incredible talent that will be missed greatly. Bourdain exposed his viewers to cultures most wouldn’t see without him. He was always an advocate for the underdog."

More: Quotes from Anthony Bourdain on life and travel: I'm going to 'die in the saddle'

One of Bourdain's first visits to Iowa was in 2002 when he read excerpts from his book, "A Cook's Tour," at Prairie Lights Books & Cafe in Iowa City.

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He visited Iowa again in 2009 when he brought his one-man show to the Civic Center in Des Moines, where he took the stage for a talk about his culinary travels. 

During his visit, he said he was going to "wing it" when it came to discovering Des Moines restaurants. He lunched with Bistro Montage chef Enosh Kelly, who created a menu of tuna Niçoise salad, halibut, sautéed calf liver, sweetbreads, fried pig's trotter and a cheese plate that included selections from Reichert's Dairy Air in Knoxville. Kelly said the cheese impressed Bourdain. The lunch was filmed for an episode of "No Reservations," Bourdain's show on the Travel Channel.

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"I think what Bourdain was going after is the local, organic stuff," Kelly said after the lunch. "He was interested in where we source our product." Bistro Montage closed in 2016.

Bourdain also filmed at the Stanhope Meat Locker & Market in Stanhope. 

But none of the footage from Bistro Montage or Stanhope made it into the episode that aired eight months later.

Bourdain's suicide follows on the heels of Kate Spade's, a fashion designer who created an empire with her line of popular handbags. Spade hanged herself in her New York City earlier in the week. She was 55.

The deaths of Spade and Bourdain have ignited concern over the increased occurrence of suicides. A recently released CDC study indicated that suicide rates have increased in almost every state in the country over the past two decades. In fact, half of all states have seen a 30 percent rise in suicide rates.

"Every chef dreams of having the career Anthony Bourdain built," Formaro said. "On the surface, he had everything. However, there were obviously demons the public couldn’t see. That is why mental health advocacy is so important. My heart goes out to his family and all who have struggled with this unfortunate reality.”

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How to get help

There are several state and national resources for those contemplating suicide, as well as resources for family or friends who may be concerned about a loved one. 

How to help someone who is suicidal 

Your Iowa Life provides some ways to be helpful to someone who is threatening suicide:

  • Be direct. Talk openly and matter-of-factly about suicide.
  • Be willing to listen. Allow expressions of feelings. Accept the feelings.
  • Be non-judgmental. Don’t debate whether suicide is right or wrong, or whether feelings are good or bad. Don’t lecture on the value of life.
  • Get involved. Become available. Show interest and support.
  • Don’t dare him or her to do it.
  • Don’t act shocked. This will put distance between you.
  • Don’t be sworn to secrecy. Seek support.
  • Offer hope that alternatives are available but do not offer glib reassurance.
  • Take action. Remove means, such as firearms or stockpiled pills.
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