Celebrity chef Carl Ruiz, the owner of La Cubana restaurant, is no more, the New York restaurant said.
"On behalf of the La Cubana family, with heavy hearts, we are deeply saddened to share the passing of our beloved Executive Chef Carl Ruiz," La Cubana posted on its social media sites, reported cnn.com.
"No words can fully express our sadness at the sudden loss of our dear friend and brother," the post said.
La Cubana didn't post the cause of death. The chef, who was part of shows on Food Network, was 44.
"He was a mighty force of down-home Cuban cuisine, and lived life to the fullest, just as he cooked-with 'dancing always' as the most important ingredient," the La Cubana post said.
Fellow celebrity chefs posted tributes online. Guy Fieri wrote: "Over the years, I've met a lot of great people, but a friend like Carl is one in a hundred million. Carl 'The Cuban' Ruiz will forever live on in my heart and in those of all who loved him."
Chef Jet Tila, who's appeared on several cooking shows, tweeted: "You taught us how to enjoy every moment to the fullest and not live wondering what if."
The restaurant said it will continue Ruiz's work in establishing the Carl Ruiz Scholarship Foundation for "aspiring chefs".