Starring in MasterChef, Hell’s Kitchen, and other reality cooking shows, this celebrity chef died unexpectedly on Tuesday night, at the age of 59.
Often called the first “rock star” of the culinary world, that world is currently in mourning over the loss of Gary Rhodes, who only recently celebrated his 30th wedding anniversary with his wife.
The cause of his death is currently unclear, and there are many versions of what may have happened to Rhodes, who has certainly left his mark on the food world.
One of the youngest at the time, Rhodes earned his first Michelin star – a very big deal for restaurants – at the age of just 26 when he was working at the Capital Hotel in Knightsbridge.
He went on to be known for his new takes on British classics while he was the head chef at Greenhouse Restaurant in London’s Mayfair. He started appearing on television as a celebrity chef at just 27 and soon became a household name in the UK.
He was known as the “Rockstar chef” not just for his attitude, but his signature spikey hair.
He hosted or guest-starred in some of the biggest cooking shows and competitions around the world, including MasterChef in both the US and the UK, and had several different television series, like Rhodes Across China and New British Classics.
In 2006, he was declared an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, though his family moved to Dubai in 2011 so he could run the Rhodes Mezzanine restaurant from the Grosvenor Hotel. Rhodes had one other restaurant in Dubai as well, at the Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort and Spa.
It’s unclear as of now what caused this celebrity chef, who was by all accounts healthy and fit, to pass so suddenly. His family released a statement that they are “deeply saddened” to announce his passing, but offered no more information.
Rhodes was filming for a new television series for ITV in Dubai, and the PR spokesman for the Grosvenor House Dubai said that he was “working until the day he” passed. “He was working until Tuesday.”
The production company that worked closely with Rhodes said that he had “fallen ill” during his filming, which was ultimately what led to his passing. Jamie Oliver, however, has a different take.
In an Instagram post that has since been deleted, Oliver said that Rhodes had passed after “a tragic fall”. That was almost immediately deleted and replaced with a heartwarming tribute to the chef.
Gordon Ramsey tweeted today that we have lost a “fantastic chef” with the passing of Rhodes and that he “put British Cuisine on the map. Sending all the love and prayers to your wife and kids.”
Vineet Bhatia, a Michelin starred chef who worked with Rhodes just days before the tragic news broke, said that he was “extremely sad” to know of Rhodes passing and that he was “gem of a man”.
Nigella Lawson, James Martin, Ainsley Harriott, and countless others have also taken to social media to share their feelings on his passing.