British celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies from head injury in Dubai, family says

Credit: Matt Dunham/Associated Press

Credit: Matt Dunham/Associated Press

Gary Rhodes, the British television chef and restaurateur who hosted "Masterchef USA" for two seasons and also appeared on "Hell's Kitchen," died Tuesday, his family confirmed. He was 59.

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In a statement to the London Evening Standard, Rhodes' family said the chef died from a head injury.

“In order to end painful speculation surrounding the sudden passing of our beloved Gary Rhodes OBE, the Rhodes family can confirm that after a successful day shooting with Rock Oyster Media for ITV here in Dubai, Gary returned home in a very happy mood for a peaceful evening with his wife Jennie," the statement said. "After dinner, Gary unfortunately collapsed in their residence and was rushed to (the) hospital but unfortunately passed away due to subdural hematoma."

In a joint statement, Rock Oyster Media and Goldfinch said they were "devastated by this tragic news," Variety reported.

Known for his spiky brown hair, Rhodes led the wave of British chefs during the 1990s, cooking for celebrities such as Princess Diana, Tom Hanks and the Manchester United soccer club, according to The New York Times.

Gordon Ramsay, host of "Hell's Kitchen," paid tribute to Rhodes on Twitter, writing "he was a chef who put British Cuisine on the map." On Instagram, fellow chef Jamie Oliver called Rhodes an "incredible ambassador for British cooking."

Rhodes ran two restaurants in Dubai, the BBC reported. He opened his first two restaurants in London in 1997 and 1998 and published several cookbooks, Variety reported.

Rhodes debuted on television on "Hot Chefs" in the late 1980s, the magazine reported. He hosted “Rhodes Around Britain” in the 1990s, and "Masterchef USA" in 2000 and 2001.

British chef Prue Leith said: "Gary was the first rock star of cooking, making it cool for boys to cook. Spiky haircut, tight trousers, full of energy," the Times reported. "And a great chef."

Rhodes is survived by his wife, Jennie — who is also a trained chef — and their two sons, Samuel and George, People reported.

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