RIP Carl Ruiz — Celebrity Chef Dead At 44

Rest in peace, Carl Ruiz.

How Did Carl Ruiz Die? New Details On Death Of The Celebrity Chef At 44 Instagram

The death of anyone is a tragedy. But the death of someone so beloved, and so young, is even moreso. Almost immediately after word of his death was released, celebrity chefs all over the world — from Guy Fieri to Alex Guarnaschelli — paid tribute to him. But there's still some questions surrounding his death — after all, he was so young when he passed away. Was it a heart attack? Was it cancer? Was it an overdose? Or, God forbid, was it suicide?


There are so many possible ways it could have happened, but the question still remains: how did Carl Ruiz die? 

Let's look at what we know about this tragic passing. 

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1. He was best known for his restaurant, La Cubana.

1010 WINS reports that Carl Ruiz's flagship restaurant, La Cubana, was his greatest achievement. The outlet reports that La Cubana, which was based in New York City, featured the cuisine of his Cuban heritage and charmed the residents of the Chelsea district for years. 


2. Carl Ruiz had been in the restaurant industry for more than 25 years. 

"Ruiz's zest for food and life was such a part of him that he had a verb for it: ruizing. It's a "way of living," that started with Ruiz, according to the Urban Dictionary, which defines it as "enjoying great drinks, food, smoking cigars, and doing what you want. You must drink with pinkies up!" reported CNN, who added that in addition to La Cubana, Carl Ruiz had opened restaurants the world over.

3. La Cubana is opening a scholarship in his honor. 

According to CBS Baltimore, La Cubana restaurant has announced that they will be forming the Carl Ruiz Scholarship Foundation, which is meant to help other aspiring chefs like himself. The outlet reports that the staff of La Cubana is "heartbroken" about Carl's death, as well. 


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4. Carl Ruiz made frequent appearances on The Food Network.

"Carl Ruiz was a celebrity chef and restaurateur who became well known for appearances on Food Network shows including Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and Guy’s Grocery Games. A graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education, Ruiz opened his first restaurant alongside his wife, Marie Riccio, in 2013. Marie’s Italian Specialties in Chatham Township, New Jersey, was featured on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” twice, beginning in 2013, and Fieri would go on to spotlight Ruiz on other Food Network shows as well," reported

5. He was last seen alive in Baltimore, MD.

According to MSN, Carl Ruiz was last seen alive in Baltimore, MD. The outlet reports that Ruiz was tweeting about crab cakes and other food delicacies he'd been enjoying in the area. 

6. The NYPD didn't release Carl Ruiz's official cause of death. 

According to Patch, the NYPD didn't release Carl Ruiz's official cause of death, and neither was it released on the La Cubana Instagram. There has, however, been some suggestion that he officially died of a heart attack.


Our thoughts are with Carl Ruiz and his family during this difficult time. 

7. Celebrity chefs celebrated his life

On Sept. 28th, the Instagram of La Cubana, the New York restaurant Ruiz opened before his untimely death, posted, "Celebrating the life of this beautiful human today! Don’t cry... laugh...Don’t sulk... Dance!" Celebrity chef Guy Fieri also posted, along with a photo of him wearing a shirt with the hashtag #ruizing, "Today I say goodbye to one of the greatest friends and chefs I ever knew. He lived life to the fullest, and loved it all. We will miss you Carl."

8. Update: Cause of death revealed

TMZ reports that the official cause of death, as stated by the Maryland Department of Health, is atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease — or in laymen's terms, a heart attack. 



A post shared by Guy Fieri (@guyfieri) on Sep 28, 2019 at 8:22am PDT

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Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, and photographer whose work has appeared in People, Teen Vogue, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, and more. She is also the author of The Uprising series. For more information about Bernadette Giacomazzo, click here.