Gary Rhodes, the celebrity chef known for his spiky hair and passion for British cuisine, has died aged 59.
According to a family statement, he died on Tuesday “with his beloved wife Jennie by his side”.
“The Rhodes family are deeply saddened to announce the passing of beloved husband, father, and brother, Gary Rhodes OBE,” the statement read.
“The family would like to thank everyone for their support and ask for privacy during this time.”
Born in south London in 1960, Rhodes grew up in Kent and trained at Thanet Technical College.
His first professional job was at the Amsterdam Hilton, where he began to experiment with nouvelle cuisine.
He opened his first restaurant in 1997 and was made an OBE in 2006.
His TV work included appearances on Masterchef, Hell’s Kitchen and his own series Rhodes Around Britain. He was a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing in 2008.
Rhodes died in Dubai, where he ran two restaurants – Rhodes W1 and Rhodes Twenty10.
Jaideep Bhatia, PR director of the Grosvenor House Dubai, said Rhodes was working “until the day he died”.
Gordon Ramsay led the tributes to Rhodes, writing on Twitter: “We lost a fantastic chef today in Gary Rhodes. He was a chef who put British Cuisine on the map. Sending all the love and prayers to your wife and kids. You’ll be missed.”
Great British Bake Off winner Candice Brown tweeted: “So so sad to hear about Gary Rhodes. His banana and syrup loaf was the first thing I baked all on my own. The pages are stuck together with syrup. So much love to his family.”
“Gutted to hear of the passing of Gary Rhodes today,” said Masterchef’s Dean Edwards. “Great memories of working with him on Take on the Takeaway all those years ago. Rest in peace.”
Author and chef Sabrina Ghayour wrote: “Shocked and really very sad to hear about the passing of Chef Gary Rhodes. Met him through work on several occasions and he was always so inspiring, polite and very kind to my staff and I. He will always remain a British culinary icon never to be forgotten.”
In a statement, Grosvenor House Dubai and Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort and Spa, where Rhodes worked, said: “The team is devastated to hear of the tragic passing of Chef Gary Rhodes OBE.
“Not only has the industry lost a true culinary legend, but we have also lost an inspirational human being and a very dear friend.
“No words can express our sadness at Gary’s death or our gratitude for the opportunity to work with him. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Rhodes family.”