Gary Rhodes, British Celebrity Chef and ‘MasterChef’ Host, Dies at 59

“He was a chef who put British Cuisine on the map,” Gordon Ramsay says

Gary Rhodes
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Gary Rhodes, a celebrity chef who hosted TV shows including “MasterChef,” “MasterChef USA,” “Hell’s Kitchen” and “Rhodes Around Britain,” has died. He was 59.

Rhodes’ family said in a statement to the Associated Press that he died Tuesday with his wife Jennie by his side. He was in Dubai, where he ran two restaurants — Rhodes W1 and Rhodes Twenty10 — at the time of his death, the BBC reported. No cause of death has been released.

Rhodes, who was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2006, was renowned for changing the reputation of stodgy British food around the world.

“We are deeply shocked and saddened by this devastating news. Our thoughts and condolences are with Gary’s family at this incredibly sad time,” a spokesperson for ITV, the U.K. network that aired many of Rhodes’ shows, told TheWrap.

Gordon Ramsay tweeted his sympathy upon hearing the news: “We lost a fantastic chef today in Gary Rhodes. He was a chef who put British Cuisine on the map,” he said.

In an Instagram post, British chef Jamie Oliver said Rhodes “was a massive inspiration to me as a young chef. He reimagined modern British cuisine with elegance and fun.”

Born in south London, Rhodes grew up in Kent and trained at Thanet Technical College. His first culinary job was the Amsterdam Hilton, where he began to experiment with nouvelle cuisine, before giving the menu at the Greenhouse Restaurant in Mayfair a modern makeover.

He went on to open his own restaurants around the U.K., including Rhodes Twenty Four, which was awarded a Michelin star in 2005.

In 2004, Rhodes set up his first overseas restaurant on the Caribbean island of Grenada, before expanding into the United Arab Emirates.

The spiky-haired chef went on to host shows such as “Rhodes Around Britain,” “Hell’s Kitchen,” “Masterchef USA,” “Rhodes Across India,” “Rhodes Across China,” “Rhodes Across Italy,” and “The Great British Food Revival,” along with appearances on “The F Word” and “Strictly Come Dancing.”

He is survived by his wife, Jennie, and two children.

Read the tributes to Rhodes below.