Carl Ruiz, Food Network Chef, Dead at 44

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Carl Ruiz
David Moir/Food Network

Celebrity chef Carl Ruiz has died, according to his frequent collaborator, Guy Fieri.

"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," Fieri wrote on Twitter. "His ability to make me laugh and smile under any circumstances was only outshined by his talent as a chef."

"Over the years, I’ve met a lot of great people but a friend like Carl is one in a hundred million," Fieri added in another tweet. "Carl ’The Cuban’ Ruiz will forever live on in my heart and in those of all who loved him."

The Food Network star, who had appeared on Dinner: Impossible, Guy's Grocery Games and Guy's Ranch Kitchen, died on Saturday night, according to friend and social media personality Matt Farah. He was 44 years old.

"I was waiting to respect the privacy of his family and close friends, but since I'm starting to get messages, I guess it's out, and sadly true. We lost Carl @saborchef last night; he passed peacefully in his sleep of a suspected heart attack at just 44 years old," Farah wrote in a tweet. "I'm absolutely gutted."

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I was waiting to respect the privacy of his family and close friends, but since I’m starting to get messages, I guess it’s out, and sadly true. We lost Carl @saborchef last night; he passed peacefully in his sleep at just 44 years old. I’m absolutely gutted. Though I only knew Carl for 2 short years, he was my consigliere, my sounding board, my “am I crazy?” Test, and a ride or die friend. Carl was down for anything, at any time. Every single time we hung out, three things happened: Carl taught me something unbelievably interesting, Carl introduced me to someone very interesting, and Carl made me laugh my fucking face off. At our wedding, he was basically a character from Wedding Crashers, but invited. He was a goddamn rock star. He was on my porch when the Countach came across my phone. He said “if you don’t buy that fucking car im going to throw you off this roof” The idea I can’t bounce a watch purchase, a recipe, or a funny tweet off him ever again hasn’t really set in, but let’s just say life feels a lot more gray today. He was too prophetic for his own good - Carl was never going to grow old and invalid, he was full throttle every day and no one was gonna tell him otherwise. I just wish I had some more time to laugh with my friend. “Every gambler knows, the secret to surviving, is knowin what to throw away; knowin what to keep. Cuz every hand’s a winner, and every hand’s a loser, and the best you can hope for is to die in your sleep.”

A post shared by Matt Farah (@thesmokingtire) on

Jet Tila, another prominent American chef, took to social media as well to share photos of himself with Ruiz, while honoring the late chef.

"You taught us how to enjoy every moment to the fullest and not live wondering what if! You are gone way too soon @carlruiz!" Tila wrote. "I will always be #ruizing! You will be remembered by us all! #RIP my friend. Thank you @guyfieri for bringing Carl into all of our lives."

Besides his presence on the Food Network as both a competitor and a judge, Ruiz also helped open restaurants all over the world, including La Cubana in New York in June 2019, an homage to his Cuban roots.  

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