Carl Ruiz, Celebrity Chef and Food Network Star, Dead at 44

The chef suffered a suspected heart attack

Carl Ruiz
Carl Ruiz
Courtesy of La Cubana
By Bonnie Stiernberg / September 23, 2019 7:00 am

Celebrity chef and Food Network personality Carl Ruiz has reportedly passed away at the age of 44. Deadline reports that Ruiz suffered a suspected heart attack in his sleep Saturday night (Sept. 21).

“On behalf of the La Cubana family, with heavy hearts, we are deeply saddened to share the passing of our beloved Executive Chef Carl Ruiz,” Ruiz’s restaurant La Cubana posted to its social media sites. “No words can fully express our sadness at the sudden loss of our dear friend and brother. Beyond his immense culinary talent, Carl’s larger-than-life personality never failed to entertain, enlighten, and uplift every person he encountered along his #Ruizing adventures. His fierce intellect and infectious humor knew no bounds. He was a mighty force of down home Cuban cuisine, and lived life to the fullest, just as he cooked— with ‘dancing always’ as the most important ingredient. Here at La Cubana, Carl paid proud tribute to his Cuban roots each night, and it is here that Carl’s legacy, undeniable spirit and passion for his culture will live on. We hope we make you proud, Carlito. To honor the work you loved so much Chef, La Cubana will continue your work in establishing The Carl Ruiz Scholarship Foundation for aspiring chefs.”

Guy Fieri also posted to Instagram to pay tribute to Ruiz, writing, “I’m heartbroken that my friend chef Carl Ruiz is gone. I have no words to describe what a great friend he was to me and my family. His ability to make me laugh and smile under any circumstances was only outshined by his talent as a chef. Over the years, I’ve met a lot of great people but a friend like Carl is one in a hundred million. Carl ‘The Cuban’ Ruiz will forever live on in my heart and in those of all who loved him.”

Ruiz appeared on multiple episodes of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and was also a frequent judge on Fieri’s Guy’s Grocery Games show.

You can see Fieri’s post below.

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