Robert Irvine Pays A Heartfelt Tribute To Chef Michael Chiarello

Food Network star Michael Chiarello has passed away at the age of 61 after being hospitalized and treated for anaphylaxis. The celebrity food chef's company Gruppo Chiarello announced the news of his passing in a statement that read in part, "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's untimely death has saddened fans as well as friends from the food world. Multiple stars have taken to social media to extend their condolences. Fellow Food Network star Robert Irvine was one among them. "A very sad day for me personally and the culinary world. My thoughts and Prayers go out to my family and teammates. RIP my Dear friend you will be sorely missed," he tweeted.

Irvine and Chiarello interacted both on and off the screen. They were fellow contestants in Season 4 of Food Network's "The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs," which premiered in October 2011. The following year, Chiarello attended Irvine's wedding to wrestler Gail Kim and even roasted a whole pig for the newlyweds.

Mourning the loss of Michael Chiarello

News of Michael Chiarello's death has prompted tributes not only from Robert Irvine but others whose lives he touched in some way. Restaurateur and Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer also paid tribute to him by sharing an anecdote of how Chiarello inspired him. "One morning in the '90's, Michael Chiarello met me at his Aspen restaurant, Ajax Tavern, where we exchanged philosophies on hospitality. He described our way of leading as 'constant, gentle, pressure.' Those words became the centerpiece of how we teach the 'Salt Shaker Theory,'" he tweeted. The County of Napa extended its condolences in a heartfelt tweet that also praised the chef's talent and remembered his affection for Napa Valley.

Many fans mourned the loss of Chiarello by sharing personal anecdotes involving him. One fan wrote about meeting the chef nearly two decades ago and recalled Chiarello's kindness. Another fan shared how Chiarello's food interweaved with his life: "One of my first dates with my now wife was at Michael Chiarello's Tra Vigne in Napa. It was one of those perfect meals that we still talk about. He opened our eyes to what a restaurant experience could be and set the standard for us for fine dining. Tragic loss."