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Food Network chef dead at 61 after being treated for allergic reaction

Michael Chiarello, best known for his show on Food Network and multitude of northern California restaurants, died over the weekend.
Food Network chef dead at 61 after being treated for allergic reaction
Posted at 7:57 PM, Oct 09, 2023

Celebrity chef Michael Chiarello has died at the age of 61.

The Food Network's "Easy Entertaining With Michael Chiarello" host had been receiving treatment for an acute allergic reaction that led to anaphylactic shock when he died at Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa, California, his restaurant group said in a statement. 

"We deeply mourn the loss of our beloved patriarch Michael. His culinary brilliance, boundless creativity, and unwavering commitment to family were at the core of his being," Gruppo Chiarello said. "He brought people together through the joy of shared meals, fostering lasting memories around the table."

Chiarello opened his first restaurant at the age of 22 in Miami and developed and opened more than 10 Italian-inspired restaurants in northern California since, including Tra Vigne, Bottega and Coqueta. He was also the owner of Chiarella Family Vineyards and the author of more than eight cookbooks.

In 1985, Chiarello was named Food & Wine Magazine's Chef of the Year within a year of getting into the business, and in 1995, he received the Chef of the Year Award from his alma mater, the Culinary Institute of America. Esquire magazine also named him Chef of the Year in 2013.

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Most publicly, the chef is known for his various cooking show appearances, including hosting his Food Network series "Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello," which won three Emmys during its 10-season run beginning in 2003.

He also had three series on PBS, one on the Fine Living and Cooking Channel and appeared on a number of other cooking shows such as Bravo's "Top Chef" and "Top Chef Masters," "Iron Chef America," "Chopped," "Supermarket Superstar" and more. He was also a guest chef on shows like "Today" and "The View."

Chiarello is survived by his wife, Eileen, and four children.

"As we navigate this profound loss, we hold dear the moments we cherished with him, both in his kitchens and in our hearts," the statement continued. "His legacy will forever live on in the love he poured into every dish and the passion he instilled in all of us to savor life’s flavors."

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