Television celebrity chef, restaurateur Carl Ruiz dies at 44

Kimberly Dole
September 23, 2019 - 6:27 am

Instagram La Cubana

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NEW YORK (1010 WINS/AP) — Television celebrity chef and restaurateur Carl Ruiz has died. He was 44.

His New York City restaurant, La Cubana, confirmed his death in an Instagram post on Sunday, saying "no words can fully express our sadness at the sudden loss of their dear friend and brother.".

On behalf of the La Cubana family, with heavy hearts, we are deeply saddened to share the passing of our beloved Executive Chef Carl Ruiz. No words can fully express our sadness at the sudden loss of our dear friend and brother. Beyond his immense culinary talent, Carl's larger-than-life personality never failed to entertain, enlighten, and uplift every person he encountered along his #Ruizing adventures. His fierce intellect and infectious humor knew no bounds. He was a mighty force of down home Cuban cuisine, and lived life to the fullest, just as he cooked—with “dancing always” as the most important ingredient. Here at La Cubana, Carl paid proud tribute to his Cuban roots each night, and it is here that Carl's legacy, undeniable spirit and passion for his culture will live on. We hope we make you proud, Carlito. . To honor the work you loved so much Chef, La Cubana will continue your work in establishing The Carl Ruiz Scholarship Foundation for aspiring chefs. . We love you! You are already missed. Rest easy ----

A post shared by La Cubana (@lacubananyc) on

According to reports, Ruiz died in his sleep, but the cause of death remains unkown.

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

Ruiz stirred up controversy in late 2018 by claiming that the country’s best Cuban sandwich could be found at La Pola, a hole-in-the-wall diner in West New York, NJ.

An Institute of Culinary Education graduate, Ruiz made frequent appearances on The Food Network channel as a competitive chef and judge.

Ruiz also opened several restaurants around the world during his 25 years in the industry.

La Cubana, his most recent restaurant, opened in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood in June and features the cuisine of his Cuban heritage.

"To honor the work you loved so much Chef, La Cubana will continue your work in establishing The Carl Ruiz Scholarship Foundation for aspiring chefs," the post added. 

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