British celebrity chef and restaurant owner Gary Rhodes died at the age of 59 in Dubai, where he had been residing since 2011, his family confirmed in a statement on Wednesday.
According to the family statement, the popular British chef died on Tuesday "with his beloved wife Jennie by his side." The Dubai Police has said that Rhodes "died of natural causes" though details of the exact cause of death have yet to emerge, according to Gulf News.
"The Rhodes family are deeply saddened to announce the passing of beloved husband, father and brother, Gary Rhodes OBE," the statement read.
"The family would like to thank everyone for their support and ask for privacy during this time."
Born in south London in 1960, Rhodes worked really hard to become an icon in the field of gastronomy, both at home and abroad, having earned his first Michelin star at the age of 26.
He's appeared on MasterChef, MasterChef USA, Hell's Kitchen, and even had his own series titled Rhodes Around Britain. The late chef also ran two restaurants in Dubai — Rhodes W1 and Rhodes Twenty10.
In 2007, he opened Rhodes Mezzanine (later renamed Rhodes W1) at the Grosvenor House hotel located on Dubai Marina, followed by Rhodes Twenty10 at Le Royal Méridien beach resort. He later opened now-closed Rhodes 44 at the St Regis hotel in Abu Dhabi in 2013.
Jaideep Bhatia, PR director of the Grosvenor House Dubai, said Rhodes was working "until the day he died."
UAE-based Vox Cinemas, which also serves a special menu by Rhodes in the Gold class, issued a statement following his death.
"We will remember fondly Chef's legendary energy, passion and commitment, and cherish the countless great experiences we enjoyed with one of the world's true gentlemen."
According to media reports, Rhodes fell ill while filming a new series in Dubai, the production company behind the show said. Rock Oyster Media, a subsidiary of Goldfinch, said in a statement they are "devastated by this tragic news."
"Gary was in the middle of filming a wonderful new series with Rock Oyster Media for ITV from his base in Dubai," Goldfinch said. The late chef "was taken ill very suddenly at home during a break in filming and died a short time afterwards."
Several notable chefs from around the world paid tribute to the 59-year-old via Twitter. Gordon Ramsay described Rhodes as the "chef who put British Cuisine on the map."