This Sweet Carl Ruiz Birthday Memory Has Fans Emotional

You may know him from his omnipresence on the Food Network, his bromance with Guy Fieri on "Guy's Grocery Games," or his regular appearances on Opie Radio. But, when celebrity chef and restaurateur Carl Ruiz passed away in 2019, it was a heartbreaking shock to all who knew him, watched him on TV, and ate at his restaurant.

Now, two years after his unexpected death, Ruiz's memory is still alive. In a video shared to Twitter by Opie Radio, the podcast Ruiz frequently guested on, Ruiz can be seen being surprised for his birthday at The Comedy Cellar in New York by his friends and fellow celebrity chefsĀ Guy Fieri, Alex Guarnaschelli, Rocco Dispirito, and Duff Goldman. "It's been bittersweet reposting these videos of Carl Ruiz as we remember him, laughing and crying," podcast host Opie wrote in the caption. "Carl was loved and full of life." Considering that Fieri was the one who introduced Ruiz to Opie Radio (via PopCulture), it makes the video all the more meaningful.

The birthday video gives a glimpse into what Carl Ruiz was like off-camera

The video posted by Opie Radio is by no means production quality and was clearly recorded on a phone. However, it highlights the side of Carl Ruiz that wasn't always showcased on television. Opie went on to post the full video from the night, as well as more unedited footage on the Opie Radio Instagram, and fans were delighted. "Don't stop yet please. I rarely missed a show or pod[cast] and this was new to me," one fan commented. Another added, "This makes me laugh and cry at the same time. I so clearly remember all of you guys posting pictures from this night." Duff Goldman, who was actually there, confirmed it was, "One of the funniest nights of my life. I laughed so hard I almost barfed." (via Twitter)

Though there may be tons of Carl Ruiz Food Network episodes we could rewatch, fans agree that it does not get any better than seeing the behind-the-scenes memories shared by his close friends.