TV chef and 'culinary icon' Gary Rhodes dies aged 59
Gordon Ramsey and Jamie Oliver led the tributes to the British TV star
British celebrity chef Gary Rhodes has died aged 59, his family have confirmed.
The restauranteur best known for fronting TV shows including MasterChef, MasterChef USA, Hell's Kitchen and Rhodes Around Britain passed away on Tuesday evening.
A statement from his family said: “The Rhodes family are deeply saddened to announce the passing of beloved husband, father and brother, Gary Rhodes OBE.
“Gary passed away last evening, Tuesday 26 November 2019, at the age of 59, with his beloved wife Jennie by his side. The family would like to thank everyone for their support and ask for privacy during this time.”
Born in south London in 1960, Rhodes opened his first restaurant in 1997 – by which time he was already one of the UK's most famous chefs thanks to his many television appearances.
He passed away in Dubai where he ran two restaurants, Rhodes W1 and Rhodes Twenty10.
A statement from Grosvenor House Dubai and Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort and Spa, where Rhodes worked, said: "The team are devastated to hear of the tragic passing of Chef Gary Rhodes OBE.
"Not only has the industry lost a true culinary legend, we have also lost an inspirational human being and a very dear friend.
"No words can express our sadness at Gary's death or our gratitude for the opportunity to work with him. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Rhodes family."
Tributes from the world of cooking poured in after the news of his death broke.
His fellow TV chef Gordon Ramsey wrote: "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."
Ainsley Herriot called Rhodes "true culinary icon and a lovely man".
And Jamie Oliver wrote on Instagram: "My heart felt sympathies to his wife , kids, friends and family, sending love and thoughts ..... Gary was a fantastic chef and incredible ambassador for British cooking, he was a massive inspiration to me as a young chef. He reimagined modern British cuisine with elegance and fun. Rest in peace Chef."