Michael Chiarello, a celebrity chef and former Food Network star, has died. He was 61.
Chiarello died Saturday at Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa, Calif., where he was being treated for an acute allergic reaction that led to anaphylactic shock, his company Gruppo Chiarello announced in a statement.
“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 shared in a statement. “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.”
Chiarello hosted shows on PBS, Food Network, Fine Living and Cooking Channel for a decade, as well as appeared as a guest chef on the “Today” show and “The View.” His Emmy-winning cooking show “Easy Entertaining With Michael Chiarello” ran for 10 seasons on Food Network.
Chiarello served as a judge on Bravo’s “Top Chef” and “Top Chef Masters.” In 2011, he participated in Food Network’s “Next Iron Chef” competition.
Chiarello was born on Jan. 26, 1962, in Red Bluff, Calif. He opened his first restaurant, Tra Vigne, in Napa Valley in 1987, and later opened such restaurants as Bottega, Ottimo and Coqueta. He ventured into winemaking in 1999, creating Chiarello Family Vineyards.
Chiarello was named Chef of the Year from Food & Wine magazine in 1985, and later received CIA’s Chef of the Year award 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 longtime 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.”