Gary Rhodes death: Gordon Ramsay leads tributes to celebrity chef

Joanna Whitehead
Gary Rhodes at Chelsea Flower Show in 2018: Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Celebrities have begun to pay tribute to Gary Rhodes after the news was announced that the celebrity chef died in Dubai on Tuesday evening.

Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver and Tom Kerridge are among those who celebrated Rhodes' career and accomplishments shortly after the news broke.

The news of Rhodes' death was announced in a family statement: “The Rhodes family are deeply saddened to announce the passing of beloved husband, father and brother, Gary Rhodes OBE,” it read.

“Gary passed away last evening, Tuesday 26 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.”

On Twitter, Gordon Ramsay wrote: “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. You’ll be missed Gx”.

In a statement to The Independent, Tom Kerridge said: “I’m deeply shocked and hugely saddened to hear the tragic news about Gary Rhodes.

“He is without a doubt one of the greatest British chefs who almost single handedly put British food on the world stage. Taking simple ingredients and embracing classic dishes, and turning them into 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 and he taught me that simplicity is key, removing things from plates rather than adding, and celebrating everything that is great about Great Britain.

“My thoughts go out to Gary's family and close friends for their huge loss.”

On Instagram, Jamie Oliver wrote: "Sadly Chef Gary Rhodes OBE passed away.

“My heart felt 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 wrote.

“He reimagined modern British cuisine with elegance and fun. rest in peace Chef."

Rhodes' son, George, uploaded a poignant photograph of he and his father two days ago with a simple blue heart.

Food critic Jay Rayner described Rhodes as "an astonishing restaurant chef", adding that he was "terribly saddened".

The Great British Bake Off 2016 winner Candice Brown said that Rhodes' recipe was the first she baked on her own: “So so sad to hear about Gary Rhodes," she wrote.

"His banana and syrup loaf was the first thing I baked all on my own. The pages are stuck together with syrup. So much love to his family”.

Ainsley Harriott described Rhodes as "a lovely man", writing: "So sad to hear the news about Gary Rhodes.

"A true culinary icon and a lovely man. Sending my love and thoughts to his wife Jennie and their boys. RIP, my friend. xx".

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall described eating at Rhodes' restaurant in the nineties as "a life-changing experience for me and many other chefs".

Chef Simon Hulston wrote: Very sad to get a message this morning from Dubai informing me of the brilliant Chef and mentor Gary Rhodes passing last night. What a shining star for British gastronomy. Rest well Chef”.

Chef and author Daniel Clifford commented: “Rest in peace a true British classic Gary Rhodes you open (sic) the door for so many English cooks”.

Sabrina Ghayour, the chef and author of the bestselling cookbook Persiana, wrote: “Shocked and really very sad to hear about the passing of chef Gary Rhodes. Met him through work on several occasions and he was always so inspiring, polite and very kind to my staff and I. He was always remain a British culinary icon never to be forgotten #GaryRhodes”.

The chef director of the Swan at Oldstead and Roots in York, Tommy Banks, added “So sad to hear. Gary Rhodes was a pioneer who inspired so many young cooks. RIP”.

Throughout his career, Rhodes published more than 20 cookery books, including New British Classics and The Complete Cookery Year.

In addition to his restaurants, books and TV programmes, Rhodes was an established personal chef, having cooked for everyone from Tom Hanks to Princess Diana.

In 2006, Rhodes was rewarded with an OBE for his services to the hospitality industry.