Remembering Carl Ruiz – a celebrity chef who was ‘Positively New Jersey’Posted: Updated:
The food world is mourning the death of celebrity chef Carl Ruiz, who died suddenly over the weekend at age 44.
Ruiz was a regular on Food Network shows like “Guy’s Grocery Games” and “Guy’s Ranch Kitchen.”
But Ruiz was also from New Jersey and the only person to be featured in News 12’s “Positively New Jersey” segments more than once.
Ruiz was from Passaic and established himself as a chef at the restaurant Sabor in North Bergen. He then opened an eatery with his wife, Marie’s Italian Specialties in Chatham. He was known for always writing a check to whatever local charity needed some funds.
Ruiz first appeared on News 12 New Jersey when he reached out to News 12’s Brian Donohue about the craziness that is Route 22. Ruiz and Donohue drove up and down the highway, marveling at the wild drivers and strange sights along the way.
“This is my favorite. They parked a rusting Rolls Royce with flat tires and the whole thing’s collapsing, so they put jacks under it,” Ruiz pointed out.
Ruiz appeared again after starting a Twitter war with the residents of Florida after he declared that La Pola in West New York had the best Cuban sandwich in all of the United States.
“This is just the same way they started making it since 1960 until now. It's perfect,” Ruiz said.
Ruiz loved fast food as well and made YouTube videos where he reviewed fast-food restaurants such as Arby’s. Donohue says that while Ruiz was an accomplished chef, he also recognized that fast food can be delicious and that there are a lot of people who have to rely on fast food for a hot meal.
Ruiz's Manhattan restaurant La Cubana announced on Instagram that it will establish the Carl Ruiz Scholarship to help aspiring chefs.
Friends have been quoted as saying they believe he died of a heart attack.