Ruiz became a household name for frequent appearances on the Food Network as a competitor and judge on shows like Guy’s Grocery Games and Guy’s Ranch Kitchen, as well as a host on Sirius XM. He opened several restaurants around the world, with La Cubana most recently in June. In an Instagram post announcing Ruiz’s death, La Cubana wrote that it would start a scholarship foundation for aspiring chefs in his name.
“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,” the post reads.
Friend and YouTube host Matt Farah shared an anecdote to the Times that illustrates this, remembering when Ruiz “was dancing with everybody” at his wedding, and then ordered $300 worth of Domino’s to the after party.
Chefs and colleagues are taking to social media to mourn Ruiz:
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I’m heartbroken that my friend chef Carl Ruiz is gone. I have no words to describe what a great friend he was to me and my family. His ability to make me laugh and smile under any circumstances was only outshined by his talent as a chef. Over the years, I’ve met a lot of great people but a friend like Carl is one in a hundred million. Carl ’The Cuban’ Ruiz will forever live on in my heart and in those of all who loved him.
This man was somehow fatherly, comforting, wise, reckless, brilliant, wickedly funny & unique all in 1. My life will be lonelier without him. Love you Carl. I’ll make sure no one puts pineapple on pizza best I can without you here. #rip @carlruiz pic.twitter.com/zgzVX1xlhy— alex guarnaschelli (@guarnaschelli) September 22, 2019
Such incredibly sad news.....@carlruiz you will be missed my friend. May the heavens welcome you brother— Scott Conant (@conantnyc) September 22, 2019
Good buddy of mine is gone. He made people laugh who’d forgotten how to laugh. He set rooms on fire. He was the match and the kerosene. The smartest and lovable-ist asshole I knew. This one gutted me. Goodnight, @carlruiz. pic.twitter.com/kYpkgeEIEr— Troy Johnson (@_troyjohnson) September 22, 2019
You taught us how to enjoy every moment to the fullest and not live wondering what if! You are gone way too soon @carlruiz ! I will always be #ruizing! You will be remembered by us all! #RIP my friend. Thank you @guyfieri for bringing Carl into all of our lives. #GGG pic.twitter.com/4g3Xyfq9kH— Jet Tila (@jettila) September 22, 2019
A great friend, and a remarkable chef and restaurant owner. You always had my back and always supported your friends. I hope you’ve got some good bourbon, cigars and pizza without pineapple on it up there. Rest In Peace to the great Carl Ruiz ❤️ Love ya! #ruizing #fatjasonbourne pic.twitter.com/FaCNilE0hP— Hunter Fieri (@HunterFieri) September 22, 2019
Chef @carlruiz was an absolute legend, in every way that word can be applied. His food, his spirit, knowledge, insights, street smarts, humor and delivery were all legendary. The world is darker without him. https://t.co/nUwV5a6C6v— Matt Farah (@TheSmokingTire) September 22, 2019