We can never get enough of The Food Network, so any of their shows in syndication are more than welcome. However, an older April Fool’s episode of Guy’s Grocery Games honored chef Carl Ruiz, and now we’re all wondering what happened to him. Chef Carl Ruiz was a Food Network favorite, but he hasn’t been on since 2019.
Chef Carl Ruiz was a good friend of Guy Fieri and an accomplished chef throughout the country. He’s appeared on several Food Network shows, mostly with Guy. But in 2019, he passed away tragically, leaving behind the legacy of a talented chef and an effervescent personality. But what exactly happened to him and how did he die?
Chef Carl Ruiz passed away in September 2019.
Although he was only 44 years old, chef Carl Ruiz died on Sept. 21, 2019 at the height of his career. He had just opened his own restaurant, Cubana, in New York City, and had been appearing on more and more foodie television shows. He was finally getting the recognition he deserved for his unique style and boisterous personality.
Chef Carl first rose to kitchen popularity when his deli, Marie’s Italian Specialties in New Jersey, was featured on Guy Fieri’s show, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. After that burst of popularity, he was often asked back to the Food Network as a guest judge, and appeared on both Guy’s Grocery Games and Guy’s Ranch Kitchen. Chef Carl also hosted his own show on YouTube, Omg Carl’s Food Show.
Chef Carl Ruiz’s cause of death was a type of heart disease.
According to the CDC, heart disease is the number one cause of death in America. However, heart disease can be caused by different things and manifest in different ways. In the case of chef Carl Ruiz, the Maryland Department of Health told USA Today, “the cause of death is atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, natural causes.”
Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease is basically a buildup of fats, cholesterol, and other substances in the arteries, which can then lead to narrowing passageways and blood clots. However, this is tricky to diagnose because the only symptoms are pain in different regions of the body where there may be buildup, so chef Carl would have needed to recognize out-of-the-ordinary pain early enough to save his own life.
When chef Carl Ruiz passed away, many notable chefs and personalities paid tribute to him.
Most famously, chef Carl Ruiz was a friend and pupil of Guy Fieri’s, so Guy Fieri spoke out with immense love for chef Carl. He tweeted, “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. His ability to make me laugh and smile under any circumstances was only outshined by his talent as a chef.”
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. His ability to make me laugh and smile under any circumstances was only outshined by his talent as a chef. pic.twitter.com/einY8qp7wf— Guy Fieri (@GuyFieri) September 22, 2019
Guy continued to commemorate the chef in a second tweet, getting a bit more personal: “Over the years, I’ve met a lot of great people but a friend like Carl is one in a hundred million. Carl 'The Cuban’ Ruiz will forever live on in my heart and in those of all who loved him.”
Guy Fieri wasn’t the only personality who spoke out when chef Carl Ruiz passed away. Sirius XM host Travis Tefft chimed in, as well as internet personality Matt Farah. The Cubana, which is the restaurant chef Carl had recently opened, posted a statement to their Instagram, pledging to begin a scholarship foundation to help aspiring chefs.
What happened to chef Carl Ruiz was extremely tragic, but what he leaves behind will hopefully become a better place thanks to his legacy.