Saying Goodbye to Chef Carl Ruiz

Amidst the Oktoberfest celebrations and extravagant outfits that defined the Emmys (Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives lost out to Queer Eye for Best Structured Reality Show for those curious), the food world suffered a devastating loss this past weekend as Chef Carl Ruiz, most recently of La Cubana in Manhattan, passed away at the age of 44. We’re dedicating today’s post in memory of Chef Ruiz by gathering some of our favorite quotes from those who knew him best. La Cubana is in the process of establishing The Carl Ruiz Scholarship Foundation for aspiring chefs, and those who wish to find out more information can contact the restaurant directly here. For those in the Northern New Jersey area, making a pilgrimage to Marie’s Italian Specialties, the location where Ruiz was first profiled by Guy Fieri on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.

Ruiz made frequent appearances on several Food Network shows.  Photo: Chef Damaris Phillips/Facebook

Ruiz made frequent appearances on several Food Network shows. Photo: Chef Damaris Phillips/Facebook

Running a restaurant kitchen is a notoriously stressful job, so those that are able to do so with grace and dignity leave a lasting impression. Carl Ruiz’s time on The Food Network introduced the chef and his passion for cooking Cuban cuisine to a global audience, but Ruiz was just as comfortable sharing his opinion about McDonald’s as he was in a TV studio serving as a judge for Guy’s Grocery Games.

From fellow Food Network stars to food writers, the outpouring of sympathy has been tremendous, and we’ve selected a few statements to share with you about the man the food industry lovingly called “The Cuban.”


”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 - Guy Fieri via Twitter.

Carl Ruiz and Guy Fieri, who profiled Ruiz’s Marie Italian Specialties on  Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dive s. Photo: Carl Ruiz/Twitter

Carl Ruiz and Guy Fieri, who profiled Ruiz’s Marie Italian Specialties on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Photo: Carl Ruiz/Twitter

Carl Ruiz and Chef Alex Guarnaschelli. Photo: Alex Guarnaschelli Instagram.

Carl Ruiz and Chef Alex Guarnaschelli. Photo: Alex Guarnaschelli Instagram.

A tribute from Eater’s Nick Solares Photo:  Nick Solares Instagram

A tribute from Eater’s Nick Solares Photo: Nick Solares Instagram

Billy Lyons