Television celebrity chef Carl Ruiz has died at 44, according to his Manhattan restaurant La Cubana. “On behalf of the La Cubana family, with heavy hearts, we are deeply saddened to share the passing of our beloved Executive Chef Carl Ruiz,” La Cubana said on Instagram.

50 CELEBRITIES WHO DIED IN 2018 – TRIBUTE SLIDESHOW

“No words can fully express our sadness at the sudden loss of our dear friend and brother. Beyond his immense culinary talent, Carl’s larger-than-life personality never failed to entertain, enlighten, and uplift every person he encountered along his #Ruizing adventures,” the restaurant posted.

View this post on Instagram

On behalf of the La Cubana family, with heavy hearts, we are deeply saddened to share the passing of our beloved Executive Chef Carl Ruiz. No words can fully express our sadness at the sudden loss of our dear friend and brother. Beyond his immense culinary talent, Carl's larger-than-life personality never failed to entertain, enlighten, and uplift every person he encountered along his #Ruizing adventures. His fierce intellect and infectious humor knew no bounds. He was a mighty force of down home Cuban cuisine, and lived life to the fullest, just as he cooked—with “dancing always” as the most important ingredient. Here at La Cubana, Carl paid proud tribute to his Cuban roots each night, and it is here that Carl's legacy, undeniable spirit and passion for his culture will live on. We hope we make you proud, Carlito. . To honor the work you loved so much Chef, La Cubana will continue your work in establishing The Carl Ruiz Scholarship Foundation for aspiring chefs. . We love you! You are already missed. Rest easy 🙏🏽

A post shared by La Cubana (@lacubananyc) on

During his 25 years in the restaurant industry, Ruiz opened restaurants all over the world and was a frequent guest on The Food Network as a celebrity judge and competitive chef.

Those who knew and worked with Ruiz are sending out their condolences. Alex Guarnaschelli, Jet Tila and Guy Fieri have spoken out about their loss. Fieri took to Twitter to share, “I have no words to describe what a great friend he was to me and my family,” Fieri said “His ability to make me laugh and smile under any circumstances was only outshined by his talent as a chef.”

The restaurant did not share cause of death.