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Michael Chiarello, Food Network chef, dead at 61

By Alli Rosenbloom, CNN

(CNN) — Michael Chiarello, a prominent chef known for appearing on “Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello” and “Top Chef,” has died. He was 61.

Chiarello’s company Gruppo Chiarello said in a statement sent to CNN that the restaurateur died on Saturday in Napa. He was being treated for an acute allergic reaction resulting in anaphylactic shock, the company’s statement said.

“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 Chiarello family shared in a statement.

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.”

The chef is known for his time hosting his namesake Food Network series, “Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello,” for 10 seasons beginning in 2003. The series won three Emmys between 2003 and 2006. (Food Network and CNN are both part of Warner Bros. Discovery.)

Chiarello appeared on a number of other cooking series such as “Top Chef,” “Top Chef Masters,” “The Next Iron Chef,” “Iron Chef America” and “Supermarket Superstar,” which debuted in 2013.

He also has appeared as a guest chef on “The Today Show,” “CBS Early Show,” “Regis & Kathy” and “The View.”

The California native graduated from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, NY in 1982 and was named Food & Wine Magazine’s Chef of the Year in 1985. Chiarello was also named Chef of the Year by his alma mater in 1995.

He went on to open his first restaurant, Tra Vigne, in Napa Valley in 1986 and has since developed and opened over 10 restaurants in the Northern California region, including his popular eateries Bottega and Coqueta.

Chiarello has authored over eight cookbooks since 1995, and opened the Chiarello Family Vineyards in the late ’90s.

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