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Food Network chef Carl Ruiz remembered after "sudden" death

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."

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On behalf of the La Cubana family, with heavy hearts, we are deeply saddened to share the passing of our beloved Executive Chef Carl Ruiz. 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. His fierce intellect and infectious humor knew no bounds. He was a mighty force of down home Cuban cuisine, and lived life to the fullest, just as he cooked—with “dancing always” as the most important ingredient. Here at La Cubana, Carl paid proud tribute to his Cuban roots each night, and it is here that Carl's legacy, undeniable spirit and passion for his culture will live on. We hope we make you proud, Carlito. . To honor the work you loved so much Chef, La Cubana will continue your work in establishing The Carl Ruiz Scholarship Foundation for aspiring chefs. . We love you! You are already missed. Rest easy 🙏🏽

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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."

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I was waiting to respect the privacy of his family and close friends, but since I’m starting to get messages, I guess it’s out, and sadly true. We lost Carl @saborchef last night; he passed peacefully in his sleep of a suspected heart attack at just 44 years old. I’m absolutely gutted. Though I only knew Carl for 2 short years, he was my consigliere, my sounding board, my “am I crazy?” Test, and a ride or die friend. Carl was down for anything, at any time. 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 fucking face off. At our wedding, he was basically a character from Wedding Crashers, but invited. He was a goddamn rock star. He was on my porch when the Countach came across my phone. He said “if you don’t buy that fucking car im going to throw you off this roof” The idea I can’t bounce a watch purchase, a recipe, or a funny tweet off him ever again hasn’t really set in, but let’s just say life feels a lot more gray today. He was too prophetic for his own good - Carl was never going to grow old and invalid, he was full throttle every day and no one was gonna tell him otherwise. I just wish I had some more time to laugh with my friend. “Every gambler knows, the secret to surviving, is knowin what to throw away; knowin what to keep. Cuz every hand’s a winner, and every hand’s a loser, and the best you can hope for is to die in your sleep.”

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Ruiz documented his last few days on Instagram, posting photos of himself getting crab cakes and visiting the National Aquarium in Maryland.

Multiple celebrities shared their condolences over the weekend, including Food Network co-star Guy Fieri, who said he is "heartbroken."

"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!"

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