gary-rhodes-chef

Gary Rhodes' close friend reveals the cause of his sudden death

The TV chef passed away this week at the age of 59

Gemma Strong

The news of Gary Rhodes' sudden death this week stunned the culinary world. And now one of his closest friends has shed some light on the circumstances surrounding his tragic passing. Speaking to the Daily Mail, British chef Vineet Bhatia revealed that Gary slipped and hit his head shortly before he died. Vineet shared that he was with Gary just last week filming in Dubai, and confirmed that the Michelin-starred chef was fit and healthy. The pair were pictured hugging in one of the very last photos of Gary, and Vineet revealed that tragically the 59-year-old told him at the time: "Life couldn't be better."

gary-rhodes-last-photo

Vineet Bhatia spent time with friend Gary Rhodes just last week

"I have been told by friends in Dubai that he slipped and banged his head and was then taken to hospital," Vineet shared. "I wish I could have been there for him. He was such a lovely man. So friendly and enjoying his life. He came to my restaurant in Dubai to film his TV series last week. He was very supportive and a great friend and very generous with his time to everybody. Gary wasn't the sort of chef who would shout at his staff. He was respectful to everybody."

MORE: Gary Rhodes' secret act of kindness revealed by Fleabag star

He continued: "I remember him telling me last week 'life couldn't be better.' He was very fit and healthy and this is such a great shock. I remember when he shook my hand it was so firm and his hug was so tight. This was a man who probably had a six pack and worked out in the gym.

gary-rhodes-wife-jennie

Gary had been married to wife Jennie since 1989

"He was very happy and enjoying the successes of his business and looking forward to expanding. We have lost a great man, a great chef. I haven't had a chance to speak to his wife or family yet, but I will try my best and am sending my condolences. I feel for them so much."

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

Gary was just 59 when he passed away. According to a family statement, he died on Tuesday "with his beloved wife Jennie by his side". "The Rhodes family are deeply saddened to announce the passing of beloved husband, father and brother, Gary Rhodes OBE," the statement read. "The family would like to thank everyone for their support and ask for privacy during this time."