Celebrity chef and culinary icon Michael Chiarello, best known for his Italian-influenced California cuisine and numerous appearances on popular television shows, tragically passed away on Friday at the age of 61. The cause of death, as confirmed by his restaurant group, was an acute allergic reaction that led to anaphylactic shock. The beloved chef, who earned a Daytime Emmy in 2005 for his show “Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello,” died surrounded by family and friends at the Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa.
Born on January 26, 1962, Chiarello rose to fame by hosting shows on PBS and the Food Network, and he made memorable appearances on renowned culinary competitions like “Top Chef,” “Top Chef Masters,” and “The Next Iron Chef.” His culinary brilliance and boundless creativity earned him the title of Chef of the Year by Food & Wine Magazine in 1985.
Throughout his career, Chiarello opened several successful restaurants, including Tra Vigne in 1987, and his restaurant group, Gruppo Chiarello, expressed deep sadness at the loss of the chef, stating, “Chef Michael Chiarello’s passion for food and life will forever be etched in our kitchens and our hearts.”
However, Chiarello faced challenges in 2016 when he was accused of sexual harassment by two former servers. Despite the allegations, the chef vehemently defended himself, calling the claims unfounded. This controversy did not overshadow his culinary legacy, as fans and fellow chefs took to social media platforms to express their grief and pay tribute to the late chef.
Fellow celebrity chef Robert Irvine expressed his condolences, stating, “A very sad day for me personally and the culinary world. My thoughts and Prayers go out to family and teammates… RIP my Dear friend you will be sorely missed.”
Michael Chiarello is survived by his ex-wife, Eileen Gordon, and their four children, Aidan, Margaux, Felicia, and Giana. As the culinary community mourns the loss of a trailblazer, Chiarello’s legacy lives on through his restaurants and the lasting memories he created through the joy of shared meals.
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) October 9, 2023