Michael Chiarello, a celebrity chef and former Food Network star, has died, PEOPLE can confirm. He was 61.
Chiarello died at the Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa, California, where he had been treated for the past week for an acute allergic reaction that led to anaphylactic shock, his company, Gruppo Chiarello, announced in a statement shared with PEOPLE.
“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,” Chiarello’s family — who were by his side at the time of his death — said in a statement. “He brought people together through the joy of shared meals, fostering lasting memories around the table.”
“As we navigate this profound loss, we hold dear the moments we cherished with him, both in his kitchens and in our hearts,” the family added. “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 funeral arrangements will be private, and in lieu of flowers, his family is asking donations to be made instead to Meals on Wheels.
Born in Red Bluff, California, in 1962, Chiarello would later go on to become a famed chef, who opened his first restaurant, Tra Vigne, in Napa Valley in 1987, per Business Wire.
Later restaurants he opened included Bottega and Ottimo, both located in Napa Valley, and Coqueta, a Spanish establishment with locations in Napa Valley and at San Francisco’s Pier 5, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Chiarello also got into the winemaking business in 1999, according to his website, creating Chiarello Family Vineyards. He then established NapaStyle, a retail line of artisanal foods, kitchenware, and home products, a year later.
The famed chef also hosted shows on PBS, Food Network, Fine Living and Cooking Channel throughout the years, and appeared as a guest chef on the likes of the Today show and The View, per his website. In 2013, he was awarded Chef of The Year by Esquire magazine. Michael Chiarello.
Chiarello’s life was not without controversy, though, as the star was accused of sexual harassment by two former Coqueta employees in 2016.