Tributes to re­spected Bri­tish celebrity chef

The National - News - - FRONT PAGE - GARY RHODES

Chef Gary Rhodes has died in Dubai, aged 59.

He passed away on the evening of Tues­day. He was seen film­ing his new TV show in Dubai on Fri­day. He had lived in the emi­rate since 2010.

His fam­ily has re­leased a state­ment ask­ing for pri­vacy dur­ing this time.

“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, with his beloved wife Jen­nie by his side. The fam­ily would like to thank ev­ery­one for their sup­port and ask for pri­vacy dur­ing this time.”

The teams at Grosvenor House Dubai and Le Royal Meridien Beach Re­sort and Spa where Rhodes ran fine-din­ing restau­rants have said that they are “are dev­as­tated to hear of the tragic pass­ing of Chef Gary Rhodes OBE. Not only has the in­dus­try lost a true culi­nary le­gend, we have also lost an in­spi­ra­tional hu­man be­ing and a very dear friend.

“No words can ex­press our sad­ness at Gary’s death or our grat­i­tude for the op­por­tu­nity to work with him.”

Rhodes’s cause of death is yet to be con­firmed. The Dubai Bri­tish Schools Group, which Rhodes worked with to de­velop healthy school meals, also paid trib­ute. “We will re­mem­ber him fondly and his mem­ory will for­ever live on at our school through the Food Tech­nol­ogy Suite that was named in his hon­our,” said Ex­ec­u­tive Prin­ci­pal Bren­don Ful­ton. “Our community will al­ways as­so­ciate him with the prac­ti­cal demon­stra­tions that he gave in this suite, his hu­mour, friend­li­ness, in­spi­ra­tion and pas­sion. We are all truly heart­bro­ken by his sud­den pass­ing.”

The Bri­tish celebrity got his first taste of Miche­lin suc­cess as a head chef aged 26 in 1986. Since then, he’s been at the helm of six one-star restau­rants.

Nearly a decade ago, how­ever, he de­cided to move to Dubai, where he ran RhodesTwen­ty10 at Le Royal Meridien Beach Re­sort and Spa, and Rhodes W1 at Grosvenor House Dubai, as well as his in-the­atre din­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion with Vox Cin­e­mas.

In 2013, Rhodes told The National that he saw him­self in the UAE long term.

“I’d like to think that my fu­ture is here. I love it,” he said.

When open­ing his Dubai restau­rant Rhodes W1 in 2014, he told The National he “was al­ways hands-on. I’m not one of th­ese chefs who sticks his name above a door and walks away,” which he proved with his com­mit­ment to living close to the restau­rants that he ran.

He was renowned for his habit of talk­ing to the din­ers in his Dubai restau­rants. Rhodes Twenty10 has said it will be closed un­til fur­ther no­tice.

Vi­neet Bha­tia, who has a restau­rant in the Grosvenor House along­side Rhodes’s, wrote on Twit­ter he “had known this gem of a man for years and in fact filmed with him just 4 days ago for his new TV se­ries. RIP my friend and may God give strength to Jen­nie and your boys in th­ese tough times.”

Gor­don Ram­say called Rhodes “a chef who put Bri­tish cui­sine on the map”.

Jamie Oliver wrote: “Sadly Chef Gary Rhodes OBE passed away. My heart­felt sym­pa­thies to his wife, kids, friends and fam­ily, send­ing love and thoughts... Gary was a fan­tas­tic chef and in­cred­i­ble am­bas­sador for Bri­tish cook­ing, he was a mas­sive in­spi­ra­tion to me as a young chef. He reimag­ined mod­ern Bri­tish cui­sine with el­e­gance and fun. Rest in peace Chef.”

Food and life­style per­son­al­ity Gil­lian McKeith wrote: “I’m shocked and sad­dened by the news of Gary Rhodes. Rest in peace. Prayers to the fam­ily. Such a won­der­ful per­son in this world. Gx”

Chef Gary O Han­lon said: “Ah no. The in­spi­ra­tion for many a good din­ner and bad hair cut in my youth (and still today). Gone too soon. #RIP.”

Singer Paul Young said: “So sad to hear Gary Rhodes the Bri­tish chef died last night at just 59.

He was at the fore­front of the gas­tron­omy ex­plo­sion in the 80s, ate at his place many times & just missed my chance to go to his restau­rant in Dubai a cou­ple of months ago. My sym­pa­thies to his wife & fam­ily.”

Pre­sen­ter and former ten­nis star An­drew Cas­tle wrote: “so very sorry to hear of the death of Gary Rhodes. A charm­ing man, kind and thought­ful. Gary and I were ter­ri­fied on Strictly [Come Danc­ing] to­gether and be­came very close. A ter­ri­ble loss.”

Gary was a fan­tas­tic chef and an in­cred­i­ble am­bas­sador for Bri­tish cook­ing. He was a mas­sive in­spi­ra­tion JAMIE OLIVER Celebrity chef

Lee Hoagland / The National

Chef Gary Rhodes, who died on Tues­day, in the kitchen of his Dubai restau­rant Rhodes W1

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