Gary Rhodes OBE Dies At 59

21st January 2020

Gary Rhodes was taken ill suddenly during a break in filming an ITV series, and died at home in Dubai, on Tuesday 26th November, with his wife Jennie by his side.

The spiky-haired chef and TV presenter, with his rock star looks, was born in South London in 1960.  He grew up in Kent and trained at Thanet Technical College, where he met his wife Jennie, and developed into a classical chef.

Opening his first restaurant in 1997, the icon of British cuisine, was honoured with an OBE in 2006.  His career was varied, with his first job at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel.  After touring Europe he returned to the UK, gaining experience as a sous chef at the Reform Club in Pall Mall, then on to work under Chef Brian Turner at the Michelin starred Capital Hotel in Knightsbridge.  In 1990 he became Head Chef at the Greenhouse in Mayfair, where he revived British Classics, and was awarded a Michelin star.   He went on to open his first two restaurants in the UK in 1997, first City Rhodes, followed by Rhodes in the Square.  More restaurants followed, together with Arcadian Rhodes, his restaurant on the cruise ship Arcadia.  In 2011 he moved to Dubai where he was currently running two restaurants there, Rhodes 2010 at Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort and Spa, and Rhodes W1 at the Grosvenor.

Venturing into television in 1987, he subsequently starred in the TV series Hell's Kitchen, Masterchef, and Rhodes around Britain.  He wrote 18 cookery books, and had his own line of cookware and bread mixes.  He competed in the 2008 Strictly Come Dancing with Karen Hardy as his partner.

25 years ago Gary Rhodes received an abusive letter from someone he sensed had severe learning difficulties, blaming the chef as his recipe had not turned out as expected.  Gary got in touch with the family, to talk the family member through the correct cooking process, and invited the family to dinner.  He followed up to ensure that the family member was still trying new recipes. 

A wealth of tributes have poured in from the UK's top chefs.

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