gordon ramsay gary rhodes

James Martin and Gordon Ramsay lead celebrity tributes to Gary Rhodes after chef dies

Jamie Oliver also paid his respects to the celebrity chef

Sharnaz Shahid

Following the sad news of Gary Rhodes' death, a whole host of celebrity chefs have paid tribute to the late TV star. Gordon Ramsay told his Twitter followers: "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." James Martin shared a throwback snap of Gary on Instagram, and posted: "Hugely influential in my life and the life of the British food scene. Gent and genius... RIP Gary, I can't believe you're gone."

The tragic news was confirmed by Gary's family on Wednesday morning, who shared an emotional statement, which read: "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 message continued: "The family would like to thank everyone for their support and ask for privacy during this time."

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Upon hearing the news, Jamie Oliver wrote on Instagram: "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 reimagined modern British cuisine with elegance and fun. Rest in peace Chef."

Gary moved to Dubai in 2011, and was best known for his work on shows including MasterChef and Hell's Kitchen. He also competed in the 2008 series of Strictly Come Dancing alongside professional dancer Karen Hardy. Ainsley Harriott, who hosted Ready Steady Cook, which also featured Gary as one of the chefs, tweeted: "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."

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Sunday Brunch presenter Simon Rimmer heaped praise on Gary for helping to kick-start his career, tweeting: "Oh my goodness! Just heard the tragic news that Gary Rhodes has died. Always a lovely man who gave me great advice when I first started out. Love and thoughts to Jennie and the boys." Tom Kerridge remarked: "I’m deeply shocked and hugely saddened to hear the tragic news about Gary Rhodes. He is one of the greatest British chefs who almost single handily put British food on the world stage. Taking simple ingredients, embracing classic dishes and making something world class."

He added: "Many chefs have been through his kitchen, myself included. I consider it to be an honour to have stood alongside him at the pass. My thoughts go out to family and close friends for their huge loss."

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