Carl Ruiz, the celebrity chef best known for his appearances on the Food Network, passed away on Saturday night at the age of 44.
According to close friend and social media personality Matt Farah, the TV star died in his sleep of a suspected heart attack.
Friends of the star have since reacted to his death with touching messages in his honor.
Guy Fieri, who collaborated with the star and welcomed him on three of his shows – “Guy’s Grocery Games,” “Guy’s Ranch Kitchen” and “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives”- shared his tribute on Twitter.
“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,” he began. “His ability to make me laugh and smile under any circumstances was only outshined by his talent as a chef.”
He continued, “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.”
Members of his Food Network also sent their condolences for Ruiz’s loss.
“You taught us how to enjoy every moment to the fullest and not live wondering what if,” Jet Tila wrote. ” You are gone way too soon @carlruiz! I will always be #ruizing! You will be remembered by us all.”
Ben Ford also shared a few words. “Our community lost a good one yesterday. Way too young RIP @calruiz,” he wrote on Twitter, adding the hashtag #ruizing.
Ruiz became a familiar face following his many appearances on shows like Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and Guy’s Grocery Games. Aside from his stint on television, the chef who specialized in Spanish cuisine, just opened his restaurant La Cubana in New York City back in June.
“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 a post from the restaurant.
“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 the statement, La Cubana also mentioned they will build on his legacy with The Carl Ruiz Scholarship Foundation, which will assist aspiring chefs.