Celebrity chef and Food Network star Michael Chiarello has died at the age of 61 after suffering an allergic reaction.
In a heartbreaking statement, his grieving family said: “We deeply mourn the loss of our beloved patriarch Michael.
“His culinary brilliance, boundless creativity, and unwavering commitment to family were at the core of his being. He brought people together through the joy of shared meals, fostering lasting memories around the table.”
Born in California in 1962, Chiarello opened his first restaurant in Tra Vigne, in Napa Valley, in 1987. In 1999, he got into a winemaking business, creating Chiarello Family Vineyards.
The celebrity chef also established NapaStyle, a retail line of kitchenware, artisanal foods, and home products.
He hosted shows on Food Network, Cooking Channel, PBS and Fine Living throughout the years.
In 2005, he was honored with a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Show Host for his work on Food Network’s Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello.
The Gruppo Chiarello restaurant paid tribute to the star, highlighting his ‘passion for food.’
“Chef Michael Chiarello’s passion for food and life will forever be etched in our kitchens and our hearts,” the statement read.
“While we mourn Michael’s passing, we also celebrate his legacy that continues with his restaurants, Bottega, Coqueta (San Francisco and Napa Valley), and Ottimo.”
The statement also said that Chiarello passed away from “an acute allergic reaction that led to anaphylactic shock.”
According to PEOPLE, he died at the Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa, California.
Heartbroken fans and colleagues took to social media to pay their respects, with celebrity chef Robert Irvine writing: “A very sad day for me personally and the culinary world. My thoughts and Prayers go out to family and team mates. RIP my Dear friend you will be sorely missed.”
Michael Bauer, a former San Francisco Chronicle Restaurant Critic, wrote on Twitter: “I just learned that chef, Michael Chiarello died last night from an acute allergic reaction that led to anaphylactic shock. He was a California pioneer in many things and his restaurants: Bottega and Coqueta continue to celebrate his legacy.”
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