Bay Area restaurateurs, foodies react to Anthony Bourdain's death

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Anthony Bourdain's death has shocked and saddened Bay Area chefs and restaurateurs, as well as those who were fans of his food and travel show, "Parts Unknown." Not to mention those who relied on his recommendations.

"We woke up to that tragic news," said Omar Perez, who was dining Friday afternoon at Swan Oyster Depot, one of Bourdain's favorite restaurants. "We were heartbroken."

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Perez and his girlfriend, Mallel Molina, planned their trip to San Francisco based on Bourdain's recommendations.

"No one can compare to Anthony Bourdain," Molina said.

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The globe-trotting television host was found dead of an apparent suicide inside his hotel room in France, where he was filming an episode of his popular series. Swan was featured on the show in 2015.

"So much energy and so bright," said Kevin Sancimino, Swan Oyster Depot's general manager. "Shocking to think, 'Wow, he's never going to come in here again.' Really sad."

Known for being bold, Bourdain never shied away from expressing his opinion. Fans say it was one of the reasons why he commanded so much respect.

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Celebrity chef Michael Mina of the San Francisco-based Mina Group worked with Bourdain on previous projects.

"Everybody was waiting to hear the next story he would tell, and I think that's whether you were in our industry or just somebody that was a fan of his," Mina said.

The San Francisco Travel Association praised Bourdain for his support of the city through the years.

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"He really captured the character of San Francisco's food scene," said Lynn Bruni-Perkins who represents the association. "He was really an unintentional ambassador."

Fans say they'll miss Bourdain's contributions to the world.

"A seasoned traveler (with a) zest for life that's unquestionable," said Chicago resident Reginald Derman, who was also visiting Swan Oyster Depot in honor of Bourdain's passing.
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