Food Network Star Michael Chiarello Dead at 61

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Michael Chiarello, a celebrity chef who hosted his own Food Network show, has died after suffering an allergic reaction. He was 61.

In Memoriam: Fallen Stars of 2023

Celebrity chef Michael Chiarello has died.

The former Food Network star passed away at age 61 at a hospital in Napa, Calif. after being treated there for the past week for an acute allergic reaction that had led to anaphylactic shock, his company Gruppo Chiarello announced in a statement Oct. 7. He spent his final moments surrounded by family and friends, the group added.

“We deeply mourn the loss of our beloved patriarch Michael,” the company quoted his family as saying. “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, a California native, had opened his first restaurant in Napa, Tra Vigne, in 1987—two years after Food & Wine Magazine named him Chef of the Year. Michael also founded Chiarello Family Vineyards in 1999 and released a slew of cookbooks before he made his TV debut in 2000 as the host of PBS cooking series Season by Season.

Gruppo Chiarello / Business Wire

In 2003, Chiarello began hosting the Food Network show Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello, which aired for 10 seasons until 2008. He later competed on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters and also appeared on episodes of the Food Network’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate and The Next Iron Chef. His last TV appearance came in 2016, when he starred on a double episode of the latter cable channel’s series Chopped titled “Grill Masters: Napa.”

His company said in their statement that funeral arrangements will remain private, and in lieu of flowers, his family requests donations to Meals on Wheels, “ensuring his commitment to culinary excellence and sustainability lives on.”

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