Food Network chef Carl Ruiz remembered after "sudden" death
By Li Cohen
/ CBS News
Food Network star and New York City chef Carl Ruiz died suddenly Saturday. The 44-year-old was the executive chef of La Cubana and a star of "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" and "Guy's Grocery Games."
La Cubana, which he opened in New York's Meatpacking District this past June, told CBS News it will establish The Carl Ruiz Scholarship Foundation in his honor. The restaurant added that it was "deeply saddened" by the news of his death.
"No words can fully express our sadness at the sudden loss of our dear friend and brother. Beyond his immense culinary talent, Carl's larger-than-life personality never failed to entertain, enlighten, and uplift every person he encountered along his #Ruizing adventures," La Cubana wrote in an Instagram post. "His fierce intellect and infectious humor knew no bounds."
The New York Police Department could not confirm details of Ruiz's death. Matt Farah, who paid tribute to the chef on Instagram, claimed that Ruiz may have suffered a heart attack in his sleep.
"[Ruiz] passed peacefully in his sleep of a suspected heart attack," the internet star known for his YouTube channel "The Smoking Tire" said. "Every single time we hung out, three things happened: Carl taught me something unbelievably interesting, Carl introduced me to someone very interesting, and Carl made me laugh my f**king face off. ... I just wish I had some more time to laugh with my friend."
Ruiz documented his last few days on Instagram, posting photos of himself getting crab cakes and visiting the National Aquarium in Maryland.
"Over the years, I've met a lot of great people but a friend like Carl is one in a hundred million," Fieri wrote. "Carl 'The Cuban' Ruiz will forever live on in my heart and in those of all who loved him."
Chef Jet Tila, who starred on "Iron Chef," said he will always be "ruizing" in the late chef's honor, a term coined by Ruiz's fans for eating and drinking as much as possible at dive bars.
"You taught us how to enjoy every moment to the fullest and not live wondering what if! You are gone way too soon @carlruiz," he tweeted. "You will be remembered by us all!"