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    Michael Chiarello: Turlock native, Food Network chef dead at 61

    Officials said Chiarello was in the hospital after having an acute allergic reaction that led to anaphylactic shock.

    TURLOCK, Calif. — A noted and celebrated name in the culinary world, who was raised in California’s Central Valley, passed away in Napa over the weekend.

    Michael Chiarello died, surrounded by family and friends, at the age of 61. According to a news release from Gruppo Chiarello, Chiarello was treated recently for an acute allergic reaction that led to anaphylactic shock.

    “We deeply mourn the loss of our beloved patriarch Michael. His culinary brilliance, boundless creativity, and unwavering commitment to family were at the core of his being. He brought people together through the joy of shared meals, fostering lasting memories around the table. As we navigate this profound loss, we hold dear the moments we cherished with him, both in his kitchens and in our hearts. His legacy will forever live on in the love he poured into every dish and the passion he instilled in all of us to savor life’s flavors,” the Chiarello family said in a news release.

    Chiarello was known for his Food Network show “Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello” and for his time as a judge on Bravo’s Top Chef and Top Chef Masters. He also hosted shows on PBS, Fine Living and Cooking Channel.

    But his accolades went well beyond what people saw on TV. Chiarello was a chef, vintner, specialty food trailblazer, philanthropist and author as well. He was also Food & Wine’s 1985 Chef of the Year and Culinary Institute of America’s 1995 Chef of the Year.

    “Chef Michael Chiarello’s passion for food and life will forever be etched in our kitchens and our hearts. While we mourn Michael’s passing, we also celebrate his legacy that continues with his restaurants, Bottega, Coqueta (San Francisco and Napa Valley), and Ottimo,” said his longtime partners in Gruppo Chiarello. “In remembrance, we ask that you join us in celebrating his remarkable journey and the incredible impact he had on the world of food, wine, and family by inviting you to share a meal with your family and friends to remind all of us that the bonds forged over a meal are among life’s most precious treasures.”

    Chiarello was born in Red Bluff and raised in the Stanislaus County city of Turlock.

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