Renowned Food Network star and beloved celebrity chef Michael Chiarello has sadly left us at the age of 61 following a sudden hospitalization.
Chiarello’s family has disclosed that he departed this world surrounded by loved ones at the Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa, California, where he was receiving medical attention for a severe allergic reaction.
In a heartfelt statement, the family paid tribute to the late chef, emphasizing that Michael will be remembered for his exceptional culinary talents, limitless creativity, and unwavering devotion to his family. Their statement conveyed, “We deeply mourn the loss of our cherished patriarch, Michael. His culinary brilliance, boundless creativity, and steadfast commitment to family were the essence of his character.”
They further added, “He united people through the joy of shared meals, crafting enduring memories around the dining table. As we navigate this profound loss, we treasure the moments we held close to him, both in his kitchens and in our hearts. His legacy will forever endure through the love he poured into every dish and the passion he instilled in all of us to savor the flavors of life.”
A Glimpse into the Life of Michael Chiarell
Born and raised in Red Bluff, California, in 1962, Chiarello was widely recognized for his hosting roles on food-related television shows broadcasted on networks such as Food Network, PBS, and Cooking Channel. His culinary journey commenced with the establishment of his inaugural restaurant, Tra Vigne, in Napa Valley in 1987. Over the years, he expanded his culinary empire with the launch of other renowned eateries, including Ottimo and Bottega, all nestled within Napa Valley. Chiarello also ventured into the realm of Spanish cuisine with Coquet, a restaurant with locations spread across various parts of Napa Valley and San Francisco’s Pier 5.
In 2013, Michael Chiarello received the prestigious title of Chef of the Year from Esquire Magazine. Additionally, he explored the world of winemaking, founding the Chiarello Family Vineyards in 1999. A year later, he introduced a retail line featuring artisanal foods, home products, and kitchenware under the brand NapaStyle, as reported by People magazine.
Beyond his roles in the restaurant industry and television, Chiarello made notable guest appearances on shows such as “The View” and “Today,” as outlined on his website.
Despite his successful culinary career, Chiarello faced a significant scandal in 2016 when he was accused of sexual harassment by two former employees who had worked at his Coqueta restaurant. He vehemently denied these allegations, and the lawsuits filed by the former employees were ultimately settled the following year, as reported by SFGATE.