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Gary Rhodes: Tributes to ‘the first rock star of cooking’ flood social media | Ents & Arts News

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TV chef Gary Rhodes, who had died aged 59, is being remembered as “the first rock star of cooking” who put British cuisine “on the map”.

The celebrity chef was suddenly taken ill at his home in Dubai, during a break in filming, and died on Tuesday, the TV production company said.

The London-born chef was known to millions for his spiky hairstyle and appearance on cooking shows including MasterChef, Ready Steady Cook and Hell’s Kitchen.

Rhodes wrote 18 cookery books
Image:
Rhodes wrote 18 cookery books

His fellow celebrity chefs were some of the first to pay tribute on social media.

Gordon Ramsay tweeted: “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 Gx”

Ainsley Harriott said: “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”.

Simon Rimmer added: “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”.

Great British Bake Off star Leith told the PA news agency: “Gary was the first rock star of cooking, making it cool for boys to cook.

“Spiky haircut, tight trousers, full of energy. And a great chef”.

Jamie Oliver initially paid tribute to Rhodes on Instagram, writing that he had died in a “tragic fall” before deleting the message.

He later wrote: “Sadly, chef Gary Rhodes passed away. My heartfelt sympathies to his wife, kids, friends and family, sending love and thoughts.

Rhodes was awarded an OBE for services to the hospitality industry in 2006
Image:
Rhodes was awarded an OBE for services to the hospitality industry in 2006

“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.”

Other stars soon expressed their condolences online, with Strictly judge Bruno Tonioli tweeting: “Can’t believe the news… #rip Gary Rhodes…. Life is just too short and precious…x”.

Actor Kai Owen said: “RIP Gary Rhodes. So sad. Loved his programmes and his food. Top chef.”

Candice Brown, Bake Off winner in 2016, recalled in a tweet how “his banana and syrup loaf was the first thing I baked all on my own. The pages are stuck together with syrup”.

The Michelin Guide’s official Twitter account said he waas “an inspirational chef and British gastronomy owes him a huge debt”.

The chef’s brother Chris Rhodes, tweeted that he had “not only lost a brother but a best friend too.

“Gary you will always be by my side, in my thoughts but most of all in my heart. The times I have spent with you have been some of the most special of my life. Rest in Peace beloved man – love you always.”

His family said he died “with his beloved wife Jennie by his side”.

Grosvenor House Dubai said the Michelin-starred chef restaurateur and author was working “until the day he died”.

The father-of-two, who went to Dubai in 2007, appeared on the Great British Menu and also took part in Strictly Come Dancing in 2008.

Karen Hardy, who was his dance partner on the show, said she was “truly speechless and lost for words but my heart and thoughts go out to his beautiful family at this time.”

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