Celebrity Chef Michael Chiarello Dies At 61

Michael Chiarello, the patriarch of the Chiarello family, passed away.

According to his restaurant group (Gruppo Chiarello), the adored celebrity chef and TV broadcaster passed away on Friday (Oct. 6) after spending a week in the hospital undergoing treatment for an intense allergic reaction that resulted in anaphylactic shock.

At the time of his departure at the age of 61, he was being treated at the Queen of the Valley Medical Centre in Napa, California, and was accompanied by friends and family. Chiarello is remembered for his outstanding culinary skills and his capacity to unite people from different backgrounds through his love of food.

“We deeply mourn the loss of our beloved patriarch Michael,” his family wrote in a statement. “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.”

His family is pledging to “hold dear the moments we cherished with him, both in the kitchens and in our hearts” as they cope with this deep loss. The love he put into each meal and the desire he inspired in each of us to savour life’s flavours will “forever live on in the love he poured into every dish,” they understand, as will his legacy (both in life and in his career.

Michael Chiarello was frequently featured on television and is well recognised for his Italian-influenced California food. In addition to hosting a successful culinary programme on PBS, the Fine Living Network, and the culinary Channel, he won an Emmy for his Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello cooking show on the Food Network.

He was always popular on Top Chef, Top Chef Masters, and Next Iron Chef, where he finished the fourth season as Rick Bayless’s runner-up. At a number of restaurants, including Caffe Museo in San Francisco, Ajax Tavern in Aspen, and Bisect in Scottsdale, Chiarello has also worked as an executive chef.

Chiarello had four children at the time of his death: an 18-year-old son named Aidan that he shared with his ex-wife Eileen Marie Gordon, three girls (Margaux, Felicia, and Giana) from a previous marriage, and one boy (Margaux, Felicia, and Giana). Chiarello and Gordon wed in 2003, but after the COVID-19 epidemic they decided to get divorced in 2019.

Gruppo Chiarello Shares Statement on Michael Chiarello

The restaurant chain Michael Chiarello built, Gruppo Chiarello, released a statement following his passing that was nothing but kind. His “passion for food and life” will “forever be etched in our kitchens and hearts,” they added, adding that they’ve decided to honour his legacy.

“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,” they said.

They also lauded his restaurants, which will continue to operate in his honour: Bottega, Coqueta (in San Francisco and the Napa Valley), and Ottimo. Everyone adored him for his ability to make Italian food enjoyable and delectable. For his family, his untimely demise is nothing short of a tragedy.

In lieu of flowers, the Chiarello family is requesting support from friends and followers to make donations to Meals on Wheels, a nationwide network of 5,000 community-based programmes that fights elder hunger and isolation. May he rest in peace at all times.

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