Cardiovascular Disease Determined As Cause Of Food Network Canada Chef Carl Ruiz’s Death At 44

Fans were shocked and saddened when Food Network Canada star Carl Ruiz died in his sleep last month at the age of 44, and now the official cause of death has been revealed.

The chef who appeared in numerous episodes of “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives” died from a heart attack, with a spokesperson from the Maryland Department of Health telling TMZ that Ruiz died from atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, a condition in which cholesterol and fat build up to form a plaque within the walls of arteries, causing them to harden.

In addition, the report determined that Ruiz’s death was natural, meaning no foul play was involved.

Along with “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Drives“, Ruiz was also a judge on Guy Fieri’s “Guy’s Grocery Games“.

RELATED: Anthony Bourdain Had A Thing For Canada And Its Food, Despite Some Controversy

Fieri was one of the first to express his condolences on social media after learning of Ruiz’s death, writing, “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.”

Another “Grocery Games” alum Chef Jet Tila also spoke out. “You taught us how to enjoy every moment to the fullest and not live wondering what if! You are gone way too soon,” he wrote.

The Cuban-American chef had just opened his own restaurant La Cubana in New York City this past June.

In a statement to People, the restaurant announced they will be starting The Carl Ruiz Scholarship Foundation, which will help aspiring chefs.

“On behalf of the La Cubana family, with heavy hearts, we are deeply saddened to share the passing of our beloved Executive Chef Carl Ruiz. No words can fully express our sadness at the sudden loss of our dear friend and brother,” the statement read.

“Beyond his immense culinary talent, Carl’s larger-than-life personality never failed to entertain, enlighten, and uplift every person he encountered along his #Ruizing adventures. His fierce intellect and infectious [humour] 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 the most important ingredient,” the statement continued. “Here at La Cubana, Carl paid proud tribute to his Cuban roots each night, and it is here that Carl’s legacy, undeniable spirit and passion for his culture will live on. We hope we make you proud, Carlito. To [honour] the work you loved so much, La Cubana will continue your work in establishing The Carl Ruiz Scholarship Foundation for aspiring chefs. We love you! You are already missed. Rest easy.”

Check out more reaction to Ruiz’s sudden death below:

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On behalf of the La Cubana family, with heavy hearts, we are deeply saddened to share the passing of our beloved Executive Chef Carl Ruiz. No words can fully express our sadness at the sudden loss of our dear friend and brother. Beyond his immense culinary talent, Carl's larger-than-life personality never failed to entertain, enlighten, and uplift every person he encountered along his #Ruizing adventures. 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. Here at La Cubana, Carl paid proud tribute to his Cuban roots each night, and it is here that Carl's legacy, undeniable spirit and passion for his culture will live on. We hope we make you proud, Carlito. . To honor the work you loved so much Chef, La Cubana will continue your work in establishing The Carl Ruiz Scholarship Foundation for aspiring chefs. . We love you! You are already missed. Rest easy 🙏🏽

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