Food Network star Carl Ruiz's cause of death at 44 revealed: report

Food Network chef Carl Ruiz's cause of death has been revealed.

A little less than a month after Ruiz's death at the age of 44 on September 22, a spokesperson for the Maryland Department of Health told TMZ that the beloved celebrity chef died "after succumbing to atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease."

According to the Mayo Clinic, the disease results from a buildup of cholesterol and other fats in artery walls, stiffening blood vessels that carry oxygen and necessary nutrients from your heart to the rest of your body. His family has suspected that he died of a heart attack, which these findings more or less confirm.

One day after Ruiz's death, his New York City restaurant, La Cubana, announced his death on Instagram, writing, "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."

"No words can fully express our sadness at the sudden loss of our dear friend and brother. Beyond his immense culinary talent, Carl's larger-than-life personality never failed to entertain, enlighten, and uplift every person he encountered along his #Ruizing adventures," the Instagram post went on. "His fierce intellect and infectious humor knew no bounds. 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. Here at La Cubana, Carl paid proud tribute to his Cuban roots each night, and it is here that Carl's legacy, undeniable spirit and passion for his culture will live on. We hope we make you proud, Carlito."

"To honor the work you loved so much Chef, La Cubana will continue your work in establishing The Carl Ruiz Scholarship Foundation for aspiring chefs," the post ended. "We love you! You are already missed. Rest easy."

Ruiz rose to fame in 2013 when his New Jersey deli, Marie's Italian Specialties, was featured on Guy Fieri's hit show, "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives." He would go on to appear on several other programs on the Food Network, including "Guy's Grocery Games."

When news of his death broke in September, Fieri and other Food Network stars took to social media to honor their late peer with emotional tributes mourning his death. Paula Deen's tribute, however, didn't go over so well.

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