British celebrity chef Gary Rhodes died on Tuesday, Nov. 26. He was 59.
The veteran TV personality and restaurateur died with his wife by his side on Nov. 26, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. His family confirmed the passing in a statement on Wednesday morning, according to the Associated Press (AP).
Though Rhodes’ family did not elaborate on the cause of death, they asked for privacy during this time and thanked fans and supporters for their condolences.
Rhodes was best known for starring in much-beloved cooking shows like MasterChef, MasterChef USA and Hell’s Kitchen. He also hosted some of his own critically acclaimed cooking specials, including Gary’s Perfect Christmas and Rhodes Around Britain, which later went abroad to India, China, Italy and the Caribbean.
Rhodes earned his first Michelin star at the age of 26 while working as a head chef at the Castle Hotel in Taunton, England, according to CNN. The hotel is known for having two restaurants.
After hearing about his death, a number of fellow celebrity chefs, including Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver and Ainsley Harriott, took to social media to share their fond memories of Rhodes as well as condolences to his family.
“We lost a fantastic chef today in Gary Rhodes,” wrote Ramsay, 53, on Twitter. “He was a chef who put British cuisine on the map.”
We lost a fantastic chef today in Gary Rhodes. He was a chef who put British Cuisine on the map. Sending all the love and prayers to your wife and kids. You’ll be missed Gx pic.twitter.com/RRWlWhjup8
— Gordon Ramsay (@GordonRamsay) November 27, 2019
Oliver, 44, shared a number of pictures showing Rhodes hard at work. He wrote: “Gary was a fantastic chef and incredible ambassador for British cooking… He reimagined modern British cuisine with elegance and fun.”
So sad to hear the news about Gary Rhodes. A true culinary icon and a lovely man. Sending my love and thoughts to his wife Jennie and their boys. RIP, my friend. xx
— Ainsley Harriott (@AinsleyFoods) November 27, 2019
What a shock, just heard the news about Chef Gary Rhodes. Thoughts are with his family and friends at this dreadfully sad time. RIP
— Paul Chuckle (@PaulChuckle2) November 27, 2019
Rhodes was also honoured by thousands of grieving fans across the globe, who reminisced about watching him on television.
Here’s what some other Twitter users had to say:
Such sad news of the passing away of one of England’s great chefs, Gary Rhodes. A man I was privileged to know from his very early days, watching his success & noting the number of young people he inspired in our wonderful industry. A true friend. RIP chef. ♥️ to Jennie & boys x
— Brian Turner (@BrianTurnerChef) November 27, 2019
Sad to hear about Gary Rhodes passing. He was one of the old school tv chefs of the 90’s with a host of restaurants world wide. Also made me want to gel my hair up from the age of about 6 ☺️✌🏻 pic.twitter.com/maOISdvr5c
— Andrew Aitchison (@ThatGuyAitcho) November 27, 2019
Throughout his career, Rhodes owned a variety of different restaurants and worked as the head chef at five other Michelin-starred establishments.
In 2016, he was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his services to and many accomplishments in the culinary industry.
Over the years, Rhodes also released his own lines of cookware and food mixes as well as bestselling cookbooks, such as the Hell’s Kitchen Cookbook, Time to Eat and New British Classics.
Rhodes was born in London, England on April 22, 1960. He moved to the United Arab Emirates in 2010, where he was also known for his dine-in menu at cinemas across Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
He was seen in public only a week prior to his death while filming a new TV show in Dubai, AP reports.
Rhodes’ two Dubai restaurants, Marriott’s Grosvenor House Dubai and Le Royal Meridien, issued a joint statement expressing their devastation over the passing of “a true culinary legend.”
“Not only has the industry lost a true culinary legend, we have also lost an inspirational human being and a very dear friend,” the statement read.
Rhodes is survived by his wife of 30 years, Jennie, and their two sons, Samuel and George.
— With files from the Associated Press
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