The popular Food Network star, who was a close friend of Guy Fieri, reportedly died of a heart attack in his sleep.
Celebrity Chef Carl Ruiz has passed away at the age of 44, his restaurant staff at New York City’s La Cubana confirmed in a statement on Saturday, September 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. No words can fully express our sadness at the sudden loss of our dear friend and brother,” the restaurant shared on their Instagram account. “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.” Here’s five things to know about the beloved chef who was revered for his Cuban cuisine.
1. He was a TV star. Carl made regular appearances on various programs on The Food Network, to compete in competitions and also be a celebrity judge. Beyond the popular channel, he also had a popular show on Sirius XM radio where he interviewed chefs, eventually becoming a successful podcaster. He has also been featured in The New York Times, Cooking Channel, ESPN, and FOX News.
2. Carl was close friends with Guy Fieri. The two celebrity chefs had a close bond, and Guy immediately posted on Twitter upon news of Carl’s death. “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, Guy wrote. “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.” Guy, of course, has had a lengthy career on The Food Network — and his buddy Carl made appearances on several shows, including Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and Guy’s Grocery Games.
3. He was a successful restaurateur. Carl opened La Cubana in New York City’s trendy Meatpacking district in June 2019. The restaurant was an immediate hit, well known for its blend of Cuban cuisine, throwback cocktails and live Latin music.
4. He’s cuban. Chef Carl was proudly Cuban, and was regarded for his twists on the traditional latin cuisine. Carl’s restaurant, La Cubana, offered a full Cuban menu as homage and he often cooked Cuban food in his various television segments and appearances. Chef even caused a mini-scandal last December when he said the “best Cuban sandwich” could be found Marie’s Italian Specialties in New Jersey.
5. He loved to travel and eat. Carl’s Instagram account is flooded with food, and not just his own creations! The adventurous chef enjoyed traveling all around for the best eats, admitting he even hopped on a train to New Jersey for that “best” Cuban sandwich. The proud New Yorker also shared photos from different places around the city.