Carl Ruiz, Food Network Chef, Dead At 44

carl ruiz with hot dog selfie
Carl Ruiz / Instagram

TMZ is sadly reporting that Food Network chef Carl Ruiz has died. According to good friend Matt Farah, Carl reportedly peacefully passed away this past Saturday night while in his sleep. The cause of death is suspected to be a heart attack. He was only 44-years-old.

Ruiz was based in the New York and New Jersey culinary scene, and was known for drawing on his Cuban roots in cooking. He was not only featured on The Food Network, but also in The New York Times, on the Cooking Channel, and ESPN.

In addition, he had his own Sirius XM radio interview show and YouTube channel. Plus, he had opened up a restaurant this past June called La Cubana. Located in New York’s meatpacking district, it featured Cuban cuisine and currently has five stars on popular review website TripAdvisor.

Ruiz first rose to prominence after graduating from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. He worked in numerous kitchens, including as head chef at Sabor in Bergen County, New Jersey, and at Cuban Pete’s in Montclair, New Jersey. He opened his first restaurant with his ex-wife in 2011.

Called Marie’s Italian Specialities, it is described as a deli and café that offers Italian-American classics like subs, homemade pasta, and other Italian dishes.

In a post on Instagram, Farah described his buddy as a “ride or die friend.” Farah added that three things would always happen when he hung out with the late chef: he would learn something new, he would be introduced to someone new, and he would always laugh.

Farah concluded the post by commenting that he wished he could have had one last laugh with his friend.

Since news of Ruiz’s death hit the internet, many other celebrity chefs have offered their tributes and condolences.

“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,” wrote Guy Fieri on Twitter.

“His ability to make me laugh and smile under any circumstances was only outshined by his talent as a chef.”

“Good buddy of mine is gone,” added food critic Troy Johnson.

“He made people laugh who’d forgotten how to laugh. He set rooms on fire. He was the match and the kerosene. The smartest and lovable-ist a**hole I knew. This one gutted me.”

Sirius XM producer Travis Tefft also added his tribute to the late chef on Twitter.

“I don’t think I’ve known anyone who lived life to the fullest more than @carlruiz. He was hilarious and exceptionally nice to everyone. This news truly sucks.”

There are many other kind words from other famous faces, and more tributes continue to pour in as news of Ruiz’s death spreads.

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In addition to celebrities, Ruiz’s legion of fans have also been tweeting that they will miss the great personality and chef.

May he rest in peace.