Television Celebrity Chef, Restaurateur Carl Ruiz Dies At 44

Kimberly Dole
September 23, 2019 - 9:50 am

Instagram @LaCubanaNYC

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880/AP) — Celebrity chef and restaurateur Carl Ruiz has died. He was 44.

His New York City restaurant, La Cubana, confirmed his death in an Instagram post on Sunday.

"We are deeply saddened to share the passing of our beloved Executive Chef Carl Ruiz,"  the restaurant's post said. "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."

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. 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. . We love you! You are already missed. Rest easy ----

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The restaurant said "no words can fully express our sadness at the sudden loss of their dear friend and brother."

The cause of death was not immediately clear, but TMZ reports a friend said Ruiz died in his sleep of a suspected heart attack.

An Institute of Culinary Education graduate, Ruiz made frequent appearances on The Food Network channel as a competitive chef and judge. He also opened a slew of restaurants around the world.

Fellow celebrity chef Guy Fieri tweeted, "I’m heartbroken that my friend chef Carl Ruiz is gone."

La Cubana, Ruiz's most recent restaurant, opened in Chelsea in June and features the cuisine of his Cuban heritage.

The restaurant said it plans to honor Ruiz's memory by establishing a scholarship for aspiring chefs.