Celebrity chef Carl Ruiz, the owner of La Cubana restaurant who made frequent appearances on The Food Network, has died, the New York restaurant said. He was 44.
“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,” La Cubana posted on its social media sites.
“No words can fully express our sadness at the sudden loss of our dear friend and brother,” the post said.
La Cubana didn’t post the cause of death.
Ruiz was a presence on both television and radio, and he opened restaurants the world over, according to a biography on La Cubana’s website.
“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,” the La Cubana post said.
Fellow celebrity chef Guy Fieri posted on Instagram that he’s “heartbroken” at the news.
“Over the years, I’ve met a lot of great people, but a friend like Carl is one in a hundred million,” Fieri posted. “Carl ‘The Cuban’ Ruiz will forever live on in my heart and in those of all who loved him.”
The restaurant said it will continue Ruiz’s work in establishing the Carl Ruiz Scholarship Foundation for “aspiring chefs.”