TV Chef Anthony Bourdain Had No Narcotics in His System When He Died, According To French Officials

Autopsy results show that Mr. Bourdain had "therapeutic traces of an unnamed nonnarcotic medication" and nothing else in his system

Image of Anthony Bourdain at Les Halles His Restaurant
Jim Cooper / AP Images

Autopsy results show that Mr. Bourdain had "therapeutic traces of an unnamed nonnarcotic medication" and nothing else in his system

French officials said today that renowned chef and TV personality, Anthony Bourdain, did not have narcotics in his system when he died earlier this month. After Bourdain died by suicide, there was only one question left from an investigative standpoint, and that was whether he was under the influence of drugs when he took his life, reports The New York Times.

Toxicology results obtained after Mr. Bourdain’s autopsy indicated that there were “therapeutic traces of an unnamed nonnarcotic medication” but nothing else present. The Parts Unknown host’s official cause of death remains suicide by hanging.

The Kitchen Confidential author was honest about his past use of narcotics, including his earlier use of heroin and other drugs. Mr. Bordain was candid with his audience when he spoke about buying his first bag of heroin at 24 in an episode of Parts Unknown. In the 2014 episode, Mr. Bourdain explored the United States’s opioid epidemic.

The Inquistr reported earlier that Anthony Bourdain was cremated in France soon after he died, and that his ashes and travel belongings were sent to his brother, Christopher Bourdain, in the United States. His mother, Gladys Bourdain, learned earlier of Mr. Bourdain’s death from Christopher.

Gladys Bourdain said that family and friends would likely hold a private ceremony in honor of her son stating that, “He would want as little fuss as possible.”

The world was in shock after Mr. Bourdain’s death, and mourners ranged from celebrities to ordinary people from all walks of life. His former New York restaurant, Les Halles, where he was an executive for eight years, served as a memorial for him, according to Variety. Mourners paid tribute at Les Halles to Mr. Bourdain with a multitude of hand-written notes and flowers.

Gladys Bourdain, who was an editor of the New York Times for years, spoke about the death of her son to the newspaper saying,

“He is absolutely the last person in the world I would have ever dreamed would do something like this.”

Gladys Bourdain additionally told Today in a phone interview that she remembered her son as a person who was “feisty and very talented,” and she that he was a “lover of people of all kinds.”

Gladys, who never really approved of her son’s many tattoos, will be joining others commemorating Anthony Bourdain’s life with tributes by getting a tattoo on her wrist that says, “Tony,” she told The Times.

Anthony Bourdain was in Kaysersberg, France, filming his award-winning CNN series, Parts Unknown, when he was found dead June 8 in a hotel bathroom by close friend and French chef, Éric Ripert. Mr. Bourdain was 61 at the time of his death.

Anthony Bourdain didn’t come to dinner the night before his body was found. Mr. Ripert alerted the receptionist the next morning to go into Mr. Bourdain’s room to check on him when he didn’t come down for breakfast. That was when he was found unresponsive.


If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. For readers outside the U.S., visit Suicide.org or Befrienders Worldwide for international resources you can use to find help.