NEW YORK >> Michael Chiarello, the chef known for his Italian-inspired restaurants in California and who won an Emmy for best host for “Easy Entertaining With Michael Chiarello” and appeared on Bravo’s “Top Chef” and “Top Chef Masters,” has died. . He was 61 years old.
Chiarello died Friday at Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa due to an allergic reaction that led to anaphylactic shock, according to Gruppo Chiarello. He was in the hospital receiving treatment for an allergic reaction over the past week. Details about how the allergic reaction developed were not immediately available.
“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,” the restaurant group said in a statement.
Chiarello, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in New York, opened his first restaurant when he was just 22 years old – Toby’s in Miami. He would go on to open several restaurants around Napa Valley and San Francisco, including Tra Vigne, Coqueta, Ottimo and Bottega. He also owned Chiarello Family Vineyards in Yountville, California.
Bottega was named a Best New Restaurant by Zagat in 2008 and has been named one of the Best New Restaurants in America by both Forbes and Esquire. At the restaurant, he served Lasagnetta di Zucchine, Pesce alla Milanese and Pollo alla Diavola. Ottimo had paninis and family dishes that serve four people, like a whole chicken braised with tomatoes and roasted.
In 1985, Food & Wine magazine named Chiarello Chef of the Year, and in 1995, he was named Chef of the Year by the Culinary Institute of America. In 2011, he was part of Food Network’s “Next Iron Chef,” Lifetime’s “Supermarket Superstar” and a judge on “Chopped.” He was named Chef of the Year 2013 by Esquire magazine.
In 2016, Chiarello was accused of sexual harassment by two former Coquita employees. The lawsuits brought by the former employees were settled the following year.
His books included “LiveFire Cookbook,” “The Tra Vigne Cookbook,” “Michael Chiarello’s Bottega,” “Michael Chiarello’s Casual Cooking,” “Napa Stories,” and “Flavored Vinegars.”
He is survived by his wife, Elaine, and four children.
“In remembrance, we ask you to join us in celebrating his remarkable journey and the incredible impact he has had on the world of food, wine and family by inviting you to share a meal with your family and friends to remind us all that the connections forged over a meal are among life’s most precious treasures,” said Gruppo Chiarello. .
“Lifelong beer expert. General travel enthusiast. Social media buff. Zombie maven. Communicator.”