Rhodes’s death was confirmed in a statement issued by his family, who said: “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 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.”
Rhodes presented the BBC version of MasterChef in 2001, MasterChef USA for PBS and featured on the British edition of Hell’s Kitchen for ITV in 2005. He also hosted a number of his own series for the BBC, such as Gary Rhodes’ Cookery Year and Gary Rhodes At The Table, as well as appearing as a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing in 2008.
He was working at the Grosvenor House Hotel in Dubai and making a new show for ITV when he was suddenly taken ill during a break in filming. Production on the series was immediately halted, according to Rock Oyster Media, the Goldfinch TV indie making the show.
Rock Oyster Media managing director David Nottage said: “Gary was one of the true greats of the British food world, part of that great gang of chefs that turned TV cooks into rock stars and encouraged millions of people around the world to get into their kitchens and start cooking.”
An ITV spokesman added: “We are deeply shocked and saddened by this devastating news. Our thoughts and condolences are with Gary’s family at this incredibly sad time.”
Gordon Ramsay was one of a number of TV chefs to pay tribute to Rhodes. “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,” the Hell’s Kitchen star tweeted.
Rhodes was born in London in 1960 and is credited with being part of a renaissance in British cuisine in the 1990s. He published 18 cook books and won his first Michelin star in 1996.