Guy Fieri 'Heartbroken' Over Food Network Star Carl Ruiz's Death: 'I Have No Words' (2024)

Food Network star Carl Ruiz has died. He was 44.

As news of Ruiz’s death reached his friends and colleagues in the food world, many shared tributes of the late chef, who appeared on multiple episodes of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and was also a judge on Guy’s Grocery Games.

I’m heartbroken that my friend chef Carl Ruiz is gone,” wrote Guy Fieri. “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 circ*mstances was only outshined by his talent as a chef.”

Fieri added, “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.”

The Food Network did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

Chef Jet Tila, who has appeared on Chopped, Cutthroat Kitchen as well as Guy’s Grocery Games, also mourned Ruiz’s death.

“You taught us how to enjoy every moment to the fullest and not live wondering what if! You are gone way too soon @carlruiz! I will always be #ruizing! You will be remembered by us all! #RIP my friend,” he wrote. “Thank you @guyfieri for bringing Carl into all of our lives.”

Fellow Food Network star Chef Ben Ford added, “Our community lost a good one yesterday. Way too young RIP.”

To say he was a great chef, would be putting it lightly. To say he was funny, would be putting it lightly and to say that he was a great friend would be putting it very lightly,” wrote Anthony Rodriguez, a director of photography for Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives in another emotional post.

“I am devastated at the way too soon loss of my friend Carl. Carl, you lived life to the fullest, enjoyed every moment and were one of the truest and most loyal friends anyone could ever ask for,” Rodriguez added. “The friendship and loyalty and laughs he brought to me and all of the group of friends that knew him best, is just indescribable Carl you were definitely an original and lived the fullest and yet, way to short a life. Vaya con dios mi hermano, te amo ❤️ See you in the next life my friend.”

In June, Ruiz opened his new restaurant La Cubana in New York City, which serves authentic Cuban cuisine.

Although a cause of death has yet to be released, a post from the restaurant’s official Instagram page on Sunday confirmed that the celebrity chef had died suddenly.

“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,” read the post.

“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,” the post continued. “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.”

In a statement to PEOPLE, the restaurant said it will be establishing The Carl Ruiz Scholarship Foundation, which will help aspiring chefs.

“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,” the statement read.

“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 the most important ingredient,” the statement continued. “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, 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.”

Prior to his death, Ruiz was active on social media, sharing many photos on Instagram from his trip to Maryland.

“Took a train just to eat one of the best sandwiches in America. Why? Because freedom. Because America,” he wrote on Saturday, alongside a photo of a train ticket, tagging Chaps Pit Beef.

His final post, which was shared on Saturday, highlighted another “delicious” meal he had while visiting a restaurant in Havre de Grace.

“Delicious Crab Cakes with collard greens and red beans and rice. Heaven,” he wrote.

Guy Fieri 'Heartbroken' Over Food Network Star Carl Ruiz's Death: 'I Have No Words' (2024)

FAQs

Guy Fieri 'Heartbroken' Over Food Network Star Carl Ruiz's Death: 'I Have No Words'? ›

Conversation. 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 circ*mstances was only outshined by his talent as a chef.

What did Guy Fieri say about Carl Ruiz? ›

“He was a big fan of the industry. Always taking care of his brothers and sisters in the biz, so that's what I'd like you to do,” Fieri said. He called Ruiz “one of the greatest chefs, one of my best friends and one of the funniest people I've ever met in my life.” Fieri explained that Sept.

What chefs react to Carl Ruiz death? ›

Dedications from culinary stars like Alex Guarnaschelli, Richard Blais, Michael Symon and more followed. “This man was somehow fatherly, comforting, wise, reckless, brilliant, wickedly funny & unique all in 1,” wrote Guarnaschelli. “My life will be lonelier without him. Love you Carl.

Did Guy Fieri go to Carl Ruiz's funeral? ›

Don't sulk… Dance!” To honor his friend's legacy, Guy Fieri wore a shirt to the funeral emblazoned with the word “ruizing,” a term the late chef coined to spread his carefree outlook on life and passion for good food. “Today I say goodbye to one of the greatest friends and chefs I ever knew,” he wrote on social media.

Who did Guy Fieri marry? ›

Personal life. Fieri met his wife Lori when she came into a restaurant he was managing in Long Beach, California. The couple married in 1995. They live in Santa Rosa, California, with their sons, Hunter and Ryder and their nephew Jules.

Do Flay and Fieri get along? ›

As two of Food Network's biggest stars, it's easy to think that Guy Fieri and Bobby Flay might hold a bit of animosity towards each other. However, in reality, it seems that the relationship between the two chefs is the exact opposite of this popular trope.

Who was the chef who took his life? ›

Although best known for his culinary writings and television presentations, along with several books on food and cooking and travel adventures, Bourdain also wrote both fiction and historical nonfiction. On June 8, 2018, Bourdain died while on location in France, filming for Parts Unknown, of suicide by hanging.

Did Carl Ruiz have a wife? ›

Together with his then wife, Marie Riccio, on October 10, 2011, Ruiz opened an Italian deli and cafe, Marie's Italian Specialties, in the Hickory Square Mall in Chatham Township, New Jersey.

How much is Guy Fieri worth? ›

How Guy Fieri became the Food Network's $100 million man.

Who does Guy Fieri live with? ›

Family is Guy Fieri's "first priority." The Food Network star and his wife, Lori, who he has been married to since 1995, are the proud parents of two sons: Hunter, 27, and Ryder, 18. Guy and Lori have also raised their nephew Jules, 22, since the death of Guy's sister Morgan in 2011.

Did Guy Fieri leave the Food Network? ›

Guy Fieri is sticking with the Food Network. The celebrity chef has struck a new, three-year deal with the Warner Bros. Discovery-owned cable network. It comes after he struck a similar deal in April 2021.

Did Guy Fieri lose his sister? ›

The TV personality lost his sister to metastatic melanoma in 2011, and in the years since, Fieri stepped up to raise her son, Jules, like his own and has continued to keep her memory alive by talking and posting about her any chance he gets.

Why did Guy Fieri lose so much weight? ›

The Food Network star shared that he has lost weight over the last four years by reducing food portions and hiring a personal trainer who suggested intermittent fasting. Guy Fieri.

Who is Guy Fieri in a relationship with? ›

Guy Fieri and Lori Fieri have been married for nearly three decades. The Food Network star met his future wife long before he rose to fame and became the Mayor of Flavortown. The couple got married in 1995 and went on to welcome two sons: Hunter and Ryder.

Why did Guy Fieri raise his nephew? ›

Fieri's nephew Jules, who he raised since 2011 when his sister passed away, is 22. Of his family, Fieri has said, “I'm so proud of all that these kids get to experience but also at how grounded they've stayed. I think that has a lot to do with who I am and who my wife is.

What disease did Carl Ruiz have? ›

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Maryland said Ruiz died from atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, which the Mayo Clinic describes as a thickening and stiffening of blood vessels.

What happened to chef Carl Ruiz from Food Network? ›

Three months after opening his restaurant, Carl died in his sleep at the age of 44 in September 2019 in Maryland. His official cause of death was atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, "the buildup of fats, cholesterol and other substances in and on the artery walls," per Mayo Clinic.

Was Steve Harwell friends with Guy Fieri? ›

Fieri and Harwell were close friends for many years. Fieri even contributed to Harwell's cookbook to raise money for charity.

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