ET can confirm that celebrity chef Michael Chiarello died of anaphylactic shock following an acute allergic reaction, but the cause of the allergic reaction remains unknown.
“The doctors don’t know what caused the allergic reaction and neither does the family,” a spokesperson for his company, Gruppo Chiarello, tells ET. “They may never know.”
The former Food Network star died at the Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa, California, on Friday, his family confirmed in a statement to ET. He was 61. Chiarello had spent the last week being treated for the reaction that led to anaphylactic shock.
His family paid tribute to the famed chef, sharing in a statement, “We deeply mourn the loss of our beloved patriarch Michael. His culinary brilliance, boundless creativity, and unwavering commitment to family were at the core of his being.”
“He brought people together through the joy of shared meals, fostering lasting memories around the table,” the statement continued. “As we navigate this profound loss, we hold dear the moments we cherished with him, both in his kitchens and in our hearts. His legacy will forever live on in the love he poured into every dish and the passion he instilled in all of us to savor life’s flavors.”
Chiarello worked in fine dining since the 1980s, and began his career as a chef in front of the camera in 2001, with his first show, Season by Season, premiering on PBS.
In 2003, Chiarello began hosting a new show, Easy Entertaining, on the Food Network and helmed the show NapaStyle, which premiered in 2004 on the Food Network’s sister channel, the Fine Living Network, which later became the Cooking Channel.
He also authored multiple cookbooks throughout his career, most recently the 2013 publication, Michael Chiarello’s Live Fire: 125 Recipes for Cooking Outdoors.
Chiarello is survived by four children — son Aiden and daughters Margaux, Felicia, and Giana.
Funeral arrangements for the former Food Network star will be private, and in lieu of flowers, his family is asking that donations be made to Meals on Wheels.
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