TV Chef Michael Chiarello Died of Allergic Reaction

Chiarello, who hosted the Food Network series “NapaStyle,” died in October

Chef Michael Chiarello
Chef Michael Chiarello at the New York City Wine & Food Festival on October 16, 2014 in New York City. (Getty Images)

TV chef Michael Chiarello’s death in October was caused by a fatal allergic reaction, the Napa Valley Coroner said in a report released to the media on Wednesday.

However, a pathologist was unable to identify the fatal allergen, Henry Wofford, a spokesperson for the coroner’s office, told the Napa Valley Register.

The 61-year-0ld celebrity chef died on Oct. 6 at Providence Queen of the Valley Medical Center Napa, California. He was hospitalized for six days after going into anaphylactic chock, which then triggered a heart attack that led to his death.

The autopsy cited other Chiarello’s other health issues, including high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, hypothyroidism and sleep apnea. Although the toxicology report showed recent cocaine use, the chef’s death was not due to an overdose of cocaine or other drugs.

Chiarello was known for appearances on “Top Chef,” “Top Chef Masters” and “Next Iron Chef,” as well as hosting shows on Food Network, PBS and the Cooking Channel. He also hosted “Easy Entertaining,”which earned him an Emmy in 2005.

In 1987, he opened the restaurant Tra Vigne in the town of St. Helena in Napa Valley and went to launch several more California-Italian fusion restaurants there and in the Bay Area, including Bottega, Ottimo and Coqueta Napa Valley.

Food & Wine Magazine named him Chef of the Year in 1985 and he was also recognized by the James Beard Foundation. His many cookbooks include Bottega: Bold Italian Flavors from the Heart of California’s Wine Country and “Michael Chiarello’s Casual Cooking.”


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