Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes has died aged 59.
Rhodes died in Dubai where he ran the restaurants Rhodes W1 and Rhodes Twenty10.
He enjoyed a distinguished career as a chef, which later led to high-profile television work. Having trained at catering college in Thanet in his native Kent, his first job as a chef was at Amsterdam Hilton hotel.
Eventually he moved to London where he was a sous chef at the Reform Club before going on to the Capital Hotel in Knightsbridge where he worked under Brian Turner. After two years he moved to the Whitehall in Essex where became head chef and 12 months after that he replaced Chris Oakes at the Castle Hotel in Taunton, retaining the hotel’s Michelin star aged just 26. By 1990, he was head chef at the Greenhouse in London’s Mayfair where he gained acclaim for reviving forgotten British classics like faggots, fishcakes, braised oxtails and bread-and-butter pudding. In 1996, he won a Michelin star for his efforts.
He later opened his own restaurant City Rhodes in 1997 and then Rhodes in the Square, in partnership with caterer Sodexo, winning Michelin stars at both. Three more Rhodes & Co brasseries followed in Manchester, Edinburgh and West Sussex.
He ended up winning a total of six Michelin stars, after securing one at Rhodes W1 Fine Dining at the Cumberland hotel in 2007, in the same year when he began working in the United Arab Emirates when Rhodes Mezzanine opened at the Grosvenor House hotel in Dubai.
He appeared in several TV shows including MasterChef, MasterChef USA, Hell’s Kitchen and his own series Rhodes around Britain. He also served as a judge for the Roux Scholarship for several years.
In a statement, his family said: “The Rhodes family are deeply saddened to announce the passing of beloved husband, father and brother, Gary Rhodes OBE. Gary passed away last evening, Tuesday 26th November 2019, at the age of 59.”
Paying tribute on Twitter, Brian Turner said: “Such sad news of the passing away of one of England’s great chefs, Gary Rhodes. A man I was privileged to know from his early days, watching his success and noting the number of young people he inspired in our wonderful industry. A true friend. RIP chef.”
Tom Kerridge, chef patron of the two-Michelin-starred Hand & Flowers in Marlow, added: “I’m deeply shocked and hugely saddened to hear the tragic news about Gary Rhodes. He is one of the greatest British chefs who almost single-handedly put British food on the world stage. Taking simple ingredients, embracing classic dishes & making something world class.
“Many chefs have been through his kitchen, myself included. I consider it to be an honour to have stood alongside him at the pass. My thoughts go out to family and close friends for their huge loss.”
And paying tribute, Gordon Ramsay said: “We lost a fantastic chef today in Gary Rhodes. He was a chef who put British cuisine on the map. Sending all the love and prayers to your wife and kids.”