RENOWNED celebrity chef Gary Rhodes – who formerly ran two of Christchurch’s most upmarket hotel restaurants – has died aged 59, it has been announced.
His family revealed the news that he passed away in Dubai where Mr Rhodes had made his home for the past eight years.
He died “with his beloved wife Jennie by his side”, they said in a statement this morning.
Known for his spiky hair, Mr Rhodes opened his first restaurant in 1997 and during his career won numerous Michelin stars. He was well known for his appearing on TV shows such as Masterchef, Hell’s Kitchen and his own series, Rhodes Around Britain.
He had been a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing in 2008.
Mr Rhodes, who was born in London and grew up in Kent, had many local connections, having ran a pair of upmarket eateries in Christchurch for a brief spell, while he also appeared at the town’s food festival.
Back in 2009 Mr Rhodes first graced the kitchens of the Kings Hotel when the boutique establishment was undergoing a £2m rebranding. The restaurant there was called Kings Rhodes and offered contemporary, fine-dining dishes.
Just a year later he took over the kitchens of the Christchurch Harbour Hotel – which caused him to give up the Kings Hotel spot.
The A&T reported the departure and was told by his team it was because Mr Rhodes adopted a “one restaurant per town policy”.
However, Mr Rhodes’ tenure at the Harbour Hotel in its Rhodes South was brief as he left in August 2010. Latterly he ran two Dubai restaurants: Rhodes W1 and Rhodes Twenty10.
Glowing tributes have been paid to him by fellow celebrity chefs. On Twitter Gordon Ramsey hailed him as “fantastic”, adding: “He was a chef who put British cuisine on the map.”