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Anthony Bourdain Out for Tandem Bike Ride ... One of His Last Photos

6/8/2018 2:21 PM PDT
Breaking News

One of the last images taken of Anthony Bourdain shows him riding a tandem bike through eastern France with the chef who would find him, days later, dead in his hotel room.

The photo was taken 2 days ago in the town of Colmar. We know Bourdain had been out there filming an episode of 'Parts Unknown' with pal and fellow chef Eric Ripert. Ripert is at the helm of the bike with Bourdain, who looks deep in thought.

Anthony's crew had their own tandem ride to capture the footage as they rode alongside Bourdain and Ripert.

As we previously reported, Ripert found Bourdain dead in his hotel Friday morning in Strasbourg -- a city renowned for incredible restaurants ... and about an hour from where this bike ride went down.

Anthony Bourdain Had Massive Impact On Jiu-Jitsu ... Says Rener Gracie

6/8/2018 4:08 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Anthony Bourdain wasn't just a legendary chef ... he was the most influential celebrity Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner -- who helped introduce the martial art to the masses -- so says the guy whose family founded BJJ.

TMZ Sports talked to Rener Gracie -- whose grandfather, Helio Gracie, created Gracie Jiu-Jitsu a.k.a. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu -- about Bourdain's impact on his family's sport.

FYI -- Rener's coached Ronda Rousey and UFC star Brian Ortega ... and occasionally hit the mats with A.B. (check out their training sesh below from 2014).

Bourdain wasn't the only celeb to train ... Ashton Kutcher, Vince Vaughn, Ed O'Neill, Kelly Slater, Guy Ritchie, and Keanu Reeves practice BJJ -- but according to Gracie, Anthony was the most important.

"I think that Anthony Bourdain, A, because of his enthusiasm and his ease of communication, and B, because of his age, is responsible for more people doing Jiu-Jitsu and beginning Jiu-Jitsu, than probably any other celebrity ever who's not a professional fighter." 

Rener goes on to say Bourdain's passing leaves a void that might never be filled.

"All of Jiu-Jitsu, and even MMA, lost an ambassador that we may never replace in terms of what he brought and how openly and passionately he spoke about the incredible lifestyle and sport we all love."

Anthony Bourdain & Kate Spade Suicides Trigger High-Volume Calls To Suicide Prevention Line

6/8/2018 1:19 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

The tragic deaths of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade by suicide have sparked a wave of calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline ... TMZ has learned.

The Mental Health Association of New York tells TMZ ... the hotline has experienced a 25% increase in call volume compared to this time last week. The number has been shared by tons of celebs, which the MHA says has resulted in more people "being aware of the resource and calling the Lifeline to get help."

The association has proven to deescalate moments of crisis and help people find hope. Last year alone, the Lifeline answered 2 million calls. The increase in calls comes on the heels of the CDC saying suicide rates in the U.S. increased more than 25 percent since 1999.

As we reported ... Anthony was found dead in his hotel room. Kate was found dead in her NYC apartment and both died by hanging.

RIP

7:00 PM PT -- Nobody is immune, either. Anthony's mom, Gladys Bourdain, told the New York Times she had no indication he was thinking of suicide, saying, "He is absolutely the last person in the world I would have ever dreamed would do something like this."

Buff White House Chef I Cooked to Cope with Army Life ... P.S. I Can Bench 700 lbs.

6/8/2018 1:53 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Andre Rush -- the White House chef who looks more like a bodybuilder -- says he never expected his military career to lead him to D.C., but it all worked out ... and speaking of workouts ...

The retired Army Master Sergeant Chef was on "TMZ Live" Friday after going viral this week when a reporter posted a shot of him preparing a Ramadan meal for the Prez and 30-40 guests. Ya can't help but stare at his massive guns.

Turns out ... Chef Rush has experience with real guns, too. He says he was an Army Ranger, but took up cooking to cope with the stresses of military life. Now, he's cooking for presidents and other world leaders.

Naturally, we had to ask about Trump's notorious diet, but check out his response. He's a tough nut to crack. But when it comes to his insane routine, he gave up the goods -- but it's almost unbelievable!

Anthony Bourdain Everything Seemed Good with GF ... Until This Week

6/8/2018 10:22 AM PDT

9:00 AM PT -- Asia just released a statement addressing Bourdain's passing, saying ... "Anthony gave all of himself in everything that he did. His brilliant, fearless spirit touched and inspired so many, and his generosity knew no bounds. He was my love, my rock, my protector." 

She continues, "I am beyond devastated. My thoughts are with his family. I would ask that you respect their privacy and mine."Anthony Bourdain and Asia Argento seemed as tight as ever just last week ... but it appears something changed within the last few days. 

Asia, an Italian actress and director, also worked on Bourdain's show, 'Parts Unknown.' Bourdain posted a photo last week of the two from their trip to Hong Kong ... that episode just aired this week. The pic featured the crew, including Asia, who was sitting right next to him.

Just a few weeks ago, they were together in Florence, Italy ... and still looked very happy and romantic.

Here's where things get murky. We know Anthony was shooting his show in France this week -- he'd been there for at least 4 days. However, Asia was back in Rome, strolling around with a French reporter named Hugo Clément. There were photos of them holding hands and hugging, but the Italian photographer who shot the pics pulled them off the market on the heels of Anthony's death.

It's unclear if Anthony and Asia had broken up. If they did, there was no public announcement. Their last public appearance together was at an event was back in April in NYC.

Anthony and Asia started dating in early 2017, and he supported her when she went public with rape allegations against Harvey Weinstein -- saying, "I am proud and honored to know you. You just did the hardest thing in the world."

Anthony Bourdain Dead at 61 ... Apparent Suicide

6/8/2018 4:45 AM PDT
Breaking News

Beloved chef and TV host Anthony Bourdain is dead of an apparent suicide.

Bourdain was found dead in his hotel room in Strasbourg, France ... according to CNN. The network says Bourdain's friend and fellow chef Eric Ripert discovered the body Friday morning. He had hanged himself.

They were on location in France shooting an episode of his award-winning show, 'Parts Unknown.'

Ripert tells us, "Anthony was a dear friend. 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."

Bourdain made his name first as a chef ... and then an author. His famous book, "Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly," was published in 2000, and its enormous success helped him jump into TV.

His first show was "A Cook's Tour" on the Food Network -- but the series 'No Reservations' on the Travel Channel was his breakout hit. 

In 2013, 'Parts Unknown' premiered on CNN, and it immediately won a Peabody Award. During a 2016 episode, shot in Argentina, Bourdain admitted he sometimes struggled with depression. 

His last Instagram post was a meal he had 4 days ago in France. In typical Bourdain fashion ... lots of meats and potatoes.

His suicide comes just 3 days after Kate Spade took her own life by hanging herself in her NYC home

Bourdain leaves behind an 11-year-old daughter. He was 61.

RIP

Anthony Bourdain Obama, Celebs & Fellow Chefs ... React To Shocking Suicide

6/8/2018 6:03 AM PDT

Anthony Bourdain's sudden and shocking death has stunned the culinary world.

Many fellow chefs, celebrities and athletes have taken to social media to share their experiences and some kind words about the star.

As we reported ... Bourdain was found in a French hotel room by friend and fellow chef Eric Ripert. CNN reported Bourdain hanged himself. 

Bourdain's show, 'Parts Unknown,' gained tremendous success over the years ... he was traveling for the show at the time of his death.

Bourdain leaves behind a young daughter. He was 61 years old.

Oprah's Former Personal Chef Calls on LGBT Bakers to Unite!!! After Supreme Court Vote

6/5/2018 12:30 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Ex-"Top Chef Masters" star Art Smith is imploring all Americans to avoid cake made with hate ... and he's also rallying all LGBT bakers to help the cause.

Art, who's been the personal chef of both Oprah and former Florida governor Jeb Bush, tells us his community should NOT be discouraged by the Supreme Court's decision to side with the Colorado baker who refused to make a gay couple's wedding cake.

He's adamant the SCOTUS decision shouldn't be interpreted as bakers getting the green light to refuse service to gay couples. Far from it. Art -- who btw is throwing out the first pitch for Cubs Pride Day on Sunday -- has an idea about how to fight back.

Supreme Court Sides with Baker ... Who Refused to Make Wedding Cake for Gay Couple

6/4/2018 7:43 AM PDT

The U.S. Supreme Court just ruled in favor of the Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same sex couple.

The Court ruled "The laws and the Constitution can, and in some instances must, protect gay persons and gay couples in the exercise of their civil rights, but religious and philosophical objections to gay marriage are protected views in some instances protected forms of expression."

The Court said the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had shown hostility toward the baker, based purely on his religious beliefs. The ruling wasn't even close -- 7 of the 9 justices sided with the baker.

Justice Kennedy criticized a member of the public who lashed out at the baker during a hearing in Colorado. Kennedy pointed to what he said were comments that called the baker's religious views as despicable and comparing his views to slavery and the Holocaust.

TMZ Staffer Murders Perfectly Innocent Steak

6/4/2018 7:01 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

We love Dennis. Love him. So much. 

But what he did to this piece of meat is nothing short of homicide. He managed to kill something that was already dead.

Dennis decided to pan sear (and then bake) a bone-in rib eye steak Sunday night and documented it on Twitter.

There was a ton of garlic. Some side-searing action ... and a $9 nonstick pan. It's hard to watch. 

For the record, Dennis insists the final product was "delicious."

None of us actually believe that. 

R.I.P.

Buffalo Wild Wings Twitter Hacked Wings. Beer. Oh God, No!!!

6/1/2018 5:42 PM PDT
Breaking News

Buffalo Wild Wings just became the latest victim of a Twitter hacking -- perhaps by the Russians, perhaps by a rogue employee -- but either way ... it wasn't very nice.

The sports bar franchise's official Twitter page fired off several racist and vulgar tweets Friday night, which were up for about 20 minutes before somebody realized and got them deleted. 

Some of the hacked tweets contained hateful comments including the n-word, while another claimed the restaurant's secret wings recipe contained ... well, something very gross.

There was also a vile joke directed at Wendy's.

It's unclear who's responsible, but BWW's Twitter account is back to normal and any activity from the past 6 hours has been deleted.

6:00 PM PT -- There was also this tweet during the hack -- a photo of a man covering up half of his face ... so it's possible he's the culprit.

'Little Women: LA' Christy Takes the Cake ... Right in Her Face

5/30/2018 12:20 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

"Little Women: LA" star Christy Gibel is back to getting stuff thrown in her face ... but this time she was treated to dessert instead of water. 

Christy was getting into it with costar Mika Winkler at Birkholm’s Bakery in Solvang, CA for a scene from an upcoming episode, all over an imminent gastric sleeve surgery she was preparing for in an effort to lose weight.

Production sources tell us Mika had been picking on Christy leading up to this blowout, which ended with both of them getting cake smeared all over their faces. Food fight!

Christy's no stranger to on-set run-ins with her castmates -- she was on the receiving end of some H20 and a thrown glass a couple years ago at the hands of Terra Jole. BTW ... Mika is Terra's pal, so it's really no surprise she's going after Christy just as viciously.  

As for the surgery ... here's hoping it goes better than her botched back procedure

Mike D Here's What I Can Tell You About 'Beastie Boys Book' ...

5/26/2018 4:15 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Mike D says the highly anticipated book about the Beastie Boys isn't exactly a memoir -- it's not sexually explicit enough -- but if the charts are any indication ... it's gonna make some noise.

We got the rapper at LAX Friday and asked if he could dish any details on the upcoming "Beastie Boys Book" about his days with Ad-Rock and the late MCA -- he confirms it includes a cookbook ... and straightens out our camera guy on how many pages it is.

Mike doesn't give away much else, but we know the cooking portion's from chef Roy Choi, and the book includes contributions by Wes Anderson, Amy Poehler and Spike Jonze.

He's also said it will be "unlike any other music book."

"Beastie Boys Book" doesn't get released until October 30, but it's already the #1 seller in Amazon's Rap Music category. Now ... enjoy this music video.

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