Carl Ruiz: Food Network Personality Jet Tila Mourns Fellow Chef

Food Network star Jet Tila took to Twitter Sunday to mourn the death of Carl Ruiz, a fellow Food Network chef. Ruiz died on Saturday at age 44. Like Ruiz, Tila also appeared on Guy Fieri's Guy's Grocery Games as a judge. Tila thanked Fieri for helping Ruiz become a household name.

"You taught us how to enjoy every moment to the fullest and not live wondering what if! You are gone way too soon [Ruiz]! I will always be #ruizing," Tila wrote. "You will be remembered by us all! #RIP my friend. Thank you [Fieri] for bringing Carl into all of our lives."

Tila included a photo with Ruiz, and another picture taken during Grocery Games filming with Antonia Lofaso.

Tila was not the only Food Network star to pay tribute to Ruiz. Troy Johnson shared a heartbreaking tweet and retweeted other tributes to Ruiz.

"Good buddy of mine is gone. He made people laugh who'd forgotten how to laugh. He set rooms on fire. He was the match and the kerosene. The smartest and lovable-ist asshole I knew. This one gutted me," he wrote.

"I'm heartbroken that my friend chef Carl Ruiz is gone. I have no words to describe what a great friend he was to me and my family," Fieri wrote on Instagram and Twitter. "His ability to make me laugh and smile under any circumstances was only outshined by his talent as a chef. 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."

Ruiz's cause of death has not been determined, Ruiz's brother George Ruiz told The New York Times Monday. George said his brother died while he was visiting friends in Maryland.

George said his brother's interests in the culinary arts came from their Cuban mother.

"My mom and my grandmother are culinary artists in their own way, even if they don't have a degree," George told the Times. "They had a real amazing talent."

Ruiz spent more than 25 years in the food and restaurant industry. In June, he opened his newest restaurant, La Cubana NYC, in Manhattan's Meatpacking District. He also worked at several restaurants in New Jersey, serving as executive chef at Sabor in North Bergen and at Cuban Pete's in Montclair. He also established Marie's Italian Specialties with his ex-wife, Marie.

Ruiz, a graduate of the Collegiate School in Passaic, New Jersey and the Institute of Culinary Education in New York, is survived by his parents and brother.

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As for Tila, he has appeared on dozens of Food Network shows and also appeared on Today, Rachael Ray and The Talk.

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