‘MasterChef’ And ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ Chef Gary Rhodes Dead At 59

British chef Gary Rhodes, famous for serving at the helm of productions like MasterChef and Hell’s Kitchen, died on Tuesday in Dubai after battling an unknown illness during the taping for one of his shows with Vineet Bhatia.

According to CNN, the chef experienced a sudden onset of illness in between filming and died shortly after. Producers stopped work on the production only to have the chef succumb to his illness. Cast and crew remain on location in Dubai to lend support to Rhodes’s family.

The breakout British chef owned two restaurants in Dubai, Grosvenor House Dubai and Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort and Spa. Both establishments released statements mourning the chef’s passing.

The chef’s family also issued a statement, confirming his death and asking fans and supporters for privacy.

“The Rhodes family are deeply saddened to announce the passing of beloved husband, father and brother, Gary Rhodes OBE. Gary passed away […] with his beloved wife Jennie by his side.”

Many took to social media to mourn the loss of the chef and give their heartfelt condolences. There was an outpouring of support from the culinary community, with celebrity chefs like Gordon Ramsay, who also hosted MasterChef per reports from The Inquisitr.

Chef Tom Kerridge, the owner of the popular Buckinghamshire restaurant The Hand & Flowers, tweeted, “I’m deeply shocked and hugely saddened to hear the tragic news about Gary Rhodes. He is one of the greatest British chefs who almost single-handedly put British food on the world stage. Taking simple ingredients, embracing classic dishes & making something world-class. Many chefs have been through his kitchen, myself included. I consider it to be an honor to have stood alongside him at the pass. My thoughts go out to family and close friends for their huge loss.”

According to The Independent, the chef was born in South London and opened his first restaurant in 1997, and he opened a second restaurant to the public just a year later. Both establishments were met with acclaim and received Michelin Stars. He then went on to expand his network of restaurants to other major hubs in the United Kingdom, namely Manchester, Edinburgh, and West Sussex.

He made his television debut when he was 27-years-old on Hot Chefs and leveraged his popularity with the British public to start his own cooking show, Rhodes Around Britain, while also going on to build a popular franchise of cookware and recipe books. His success took him oversees to host the original MasterChef USA for two seasons in 2000 and 2001.

Gary Rhodes was 59.

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