The TV chef Gary Rhodes died from bleeding between the skull and the brain, according to a statement from his family.
They said they wanted to end “painful speculation” about his death, after he died in Dubai on Tuesday.
The 59-year-old had been working on a new TV series and was reported to be in a happy mood when he came home from filming. He later collapsed and was rushed to hospital.
The family said in a statement: “In order to end painful speculation surrounding the sudden passing of our beloved Gary Rhodes, the Rhodes family can confirm that after a successful day shooting with Rock Oyster Media for ITV here in Dubai, Gary returned home in a very happy mood for a peaceful evening with his wife Jennie.
“After dinner, Gary unfortunately collapsed in their residence and was rushed to hospital but unfortunately passed away due to subdural hematoma.
“At this time, there are no other details and the family would again request privacy around this very tragic loss and again thank friends and family for their ongoing support at this time.”
Rhodes died from bleeding between the skull and the brain, usually caused by a head injury.
Rhodes was born in Dulwich, south-east London, but grew up in Kent before embarking on his career as a cook, training at a college in Thanet. He began cooking for his family at the age of 13, when his mother returned to work as a secretary.
He became head chef at the Castle hotel in Taunton, where he retained its Michelin star at the age of 26.
He came back to London in 1990, according to reports in the Caterer magazine, to become head chef at Greenhouse in Mayfair. He went on to launch several restaurants, including Rhodes & Co, and opened his first overseas venture in 2004.
Rhodes was awarded an OBE in 2006. He presented TV shows including MasterChef, MasterChef USA and his own series, Rhodes Around Britain. He also had four restaurants and his own line of cookware and bread mixes. He went on to feature in the ITV1 programme Saturday Cooks, as well as the UKTV food show Local Food Hero.
Tributes have come in from across the food industry. Great British Bake Off star Prue Leith told the PA news agency: “Gary was the first rock star of cooking, making it cool for boys to cook.
“Spiky haircut, tight trousers, full of energy. And a great chef,” the former Great British Menu judge said.
The fellow celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay wrote on Twitter: “We lost a fantastic chef today in Gary Rhodes. He was a chef who put British cuisine on the map.”
Tom Kerridge, formerly Rhodes’ sous chef, tweeted that Rhodes “is one of the greatest British chefs who almost single-handedly put British food on the world stage”.
Grosvenor House Dubai said the Michelin-starred chef, restaurateur and author was working “until the day he died”.
The father-of-two, who went to Dubai in 2007, was known as an ambassador for British cuisine and received Michelin stars. He appeared on the Great British Menu and took part in Strictly Come Dancing in 2008.
Rock Oyster Media and Goldfinch TV said in a statement that they were “devastated”. “Gary was in the middle of filming a wonderful new series with Rock Oyster Media for ITV from his base in Dubai,” they said. “Gary was taken ill very suddenly at home during a break in filming and died a short time afterwards.
“Production was obviously halted as soon as Gary was taken ill and members of the Rock Oyster Team remain in Dubai to support the
family as best they can.”
Rhodes received an OBE in 2006 for services to the hospitality industry, something he described as “just unbelievable” and even had “the edge” over a Michelin star.
The chef’s brother, Chris Rhodes, tweeted that he had “not only lost a brother but a best friend too.
“Gary you will always be by my side, in my thoughts but most of all in my heart,” he wrote.
“The times I have spent with you have been some of the most special of my life. Rest in Peace beloved man – love you always.”