Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives chef Car Ruiz has died of a suspected heart attack at age 44.
The TV chef was best known for his roles on Guy Fieri’s Food Network shows Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, Guy’s Grocery Games, and Guy’s Ranch Kitchen. He also beat out 16 other chefs from Diners, Drive-Ins, and Drives to take the grand prize on Fieri’s Guy’s Grocery Games.
He passed away on Saturday night, according to his friend and social media personality Matt Farah.
Farrah posted that he was “waiting to respect the privacy of his family and close friends,” but he was making the post breaking the news after receiving messages. “I’m absolutely gutted,” he said about Ruiz’s passing.
Longtime collaborator and friend Guy Fieri also paid his tributes on Twitter, saying that he is “heartbroken” over Ruiz’s passing and praising Ruiz as a talented chef. “I have no words to describe what a great friend he was to me and my family,” Fieri said of Ruiz, and also called him “one in a hundred million.”
Ruiz died peacefully in his sleep. While his cause of death is not officially known, his friends who confirmed his death on social media have mentioned that it is believed that Ruiz died of a heart attack.
Aside from his appearances on the Food Network as a celebrity judge and competitive chef champion, Ruiz has also opened restaurants all over the globe, despite not having a business degree. He had been in the food and restaurant business for over 25 years.
Most recently, Ruiz opened La Cubana in Manhattan’s Meat Packing district in June, which specializes in authentic Cuban cuisine and is an homage to his Cuban roots.
Ruiz also previously owned Marie’s Italian Specialties in New Jersey with his ex-wife, Marie Riccio.
Ruiz was a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education in New York and was regularly featured on the Food Network, the Cooking Channel, ESPN, FOX News, and other media outlets.
The celebrity chef had also made a name for himself on Sirius XM Radio, interviewing other chefs and offering culinary tips. He also had his own podcast on Westwood One.