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Carl Ruiz, Food Network Star, Dies at 44

Celebrity chef regularly appeared alongside Guy Fieri on shows like ”Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives“

Carl Ruiz, celebrity chef who regularly appeared on Guy Fieri’s Food Network shows, died Saturday at the age of 44, according to a statement from his New York restaurant, La Cubana.

“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,” the restaurant’s statement reads.

“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.”

The cause of Ruiz’s death has not been confirmed.

Ruiz was a regular on three of Guy Fieri’s shows: “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” “Guy’s Grocery Games,” and “Guy’s Ranch Kitchen,” and was good friends with many of Food Network’s stars. Fieri expressed his condolences on Twitter, along with other Food Network chefs.

Fieri added in a subsequent tweet:

Others chimed in with condolences.