Celebrity chef and Food Network star Michael Chiarello has died at 61.
Chiarello was suffering from an acute allergic reaction which led to anaphylactic shock and died as a result. He was being treated at Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa, California.
“The doctors don’t know what caused the allergic reaction and neither does the family,” Gruppo Chiarello, a spokesperson for the family, told the Mercury News. “They may never know.”
“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,” the Chiarello family statement read. “As we navigate this profound loss, we hold dear the moments we cherished with him, both in his kitchens and in our hearts. His legacy will forever live on in the love he poured into every dish and the passion he instilled in all of us to savor life’s flavors.”
The Food Netword star was known for his many television shows of Fine Living, Cooking Channel, PBS, and of course, Food Network. He was also a regular guest on the Today show and The View. His cooking program “Easy Entertaining With Michale Chiarello” was a fan favorite and ran for 10 seasons.
Chiarello also made appearances on Bravo, acting as a judge for “Top Chef” and “Top Chef Masters”. He was also on Food Networks “Next Iron Chef”.
Born on January 26, 1962, Chiarello opened his first restaurant in 1987. Located in Napa Valley, it was called Tra Vigne. He later opened more restaurants, including Ottimo, Coqueta, and Bottega. He was also a winemaker, founding Chiarello Family Vineyards in 1999.
Chiarello had many ackolades, including Food & Wine’s Chef of the Year in 1985, and CIA’s (Culinary Institute of America) Chef of the Year in 1995.
“Chef Michael Chiarello’s passion for food and life will forever be etched in our kitchens and our hearts. 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,” said his partners in Gruppo Chiarello. “In remembrance, we ask that you join us in celebrating his remarkable journey and the incredible impact he had on the world of food, wine, and family by inviting you to share a meal with your family and friends to remind all of us that the bonds forged over a meal are among life’s most precious treasures.”