Tributes to TV chef Gary Rhodes after his death aged 59 from 'sudden illness'

27 November 2019, 11:31 | Updated: 27 November 2019, 16:42

Maddie Goodfellow

By Maddie Goodfellow

Tributes from the culinary world have flooded in after the death of TV chef Gary Rhodes at the age of 59.

Rhodes appeared on shows including Rhodes Around Britain, MasterChef and Hell's Kitchen during his esteemed culinary career.

His family released a statement saying they are "deeply saddened" by his death.

They said: "The Rhodes family are deeply saddened to announce the passing of beloved husband, father and brother, Gary Rhodes OBE.

TV chef Gary Rhodes has died at the age of 59
TV chef Gary Rhodes has died at the age of 59. Picture: PA

"Gary passed away last evening, Tuesday 26 November, at the age of 59, with his beloved wife Jennie by his side.

"The family would like to thank everyone for their support and ask for privacy during this time."

They confirmed he died in Dubai, where he owned two restaurants, with his wife by his side.

Rhodes was working on a new TV series when he died.

He was suddenly taken ill while at home during a break in filming, the TV production company said.

Tributes have been posted by famous chefs from across the world in memory of Gary.

Fellow chefs Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver posted their respects on Instagram.

Gordon Ramsay said: "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."

Jamie Oliver wrote: "Sadly Chef Gary Rhodes OBE passed away. My heart felt sympathies to his wife , kids, friends and family, sending love and thoughts.

"Gary was a fantastic chef and incredible ambassador for British cooking, he was a massive inspiration to me as a young chef. He reimagined modern British cuisine with elegance and fun. Rest in peace Chef."

Amanda Holden, who worked with Gary on numerous occasions, told LBC News that he was "one of the loveliest humans".

She said: "He had such a great sense of humour. I think he was one of the first chefs that I saw on television that wasn't afraid to be himself.

"He was fun, and he was very avant-garde and edgy, he was really entertaining.

She continued: "I think he's going to be sadly missed, because I know that most chefs adored him and actually thought he was an amazing chef.

"That's not a compliment that is banded around a lot amongst themselves!"

Celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott said on Twitter: "So sad to hear the news about Gary Rhodes. A true culinary icon and a lovely man. Sending my love and thoughts to his wife Jennie and their boys. RIP, my friend. xx"

Great British Bakeoff winner Candice Brown wrote: "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."

Sunday Bruch host Simon Rimmer expressed his shock on his Twitter account, writing: "Oh my goodness! just heard the tragic news that Gary Rhodes has died. Always a lovely man who gave me great advice when I first started out. Love and thoughts to Jennie and the boys."

Chef James Martin also paid his respects, saying: "Hugely influential in my life and the life of the British food scene.

"Gent and genius. RIP Gary, I can’t believe you’re gone."

Tom Kerridge, who was previously Gary Rhodes' sous chef, said on Twitter that he was "deeply shocked and hugely saddened" to hear the news.

Gary Rhodes also appeared on the fourth season of Strictly Come Dancing, and tributes have also been posted from his co-stars.

LBC presenter Andrew Castle, who appeared on the show with Gary, said he was "so very sorry" to hear of his death.

He continued: "With all our love to Jennie and the two boys Sam and George.

"Gary and I were terrified on Strictly together and became very close."

"A terrible loss."

Mr Castle told LBC News that hearing about Gary's death was "absolutely devastating".

He said: "When we were on this silly show together we were supportive of each other because we were both poor and we both knew it.

"Whilst everyone else was floating off performing these marvellous numbers we were just trying to survive!

"So we became very close afterwards."

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