Carl Ruiz was fondly known as “Carl The Cuban” due to his Cuban heritage. Born April 4, 1975 in Passaic, New Jersey – son of Colombian father and Cuban mother. His culturally rich upbringing greatly shaped his passion for cooking, particularly through traditions passed down from his mother and grandmother. Ruiz’s dedication to culinary world led him to attend New York City’s Institute of Culinary Education where he developed his craft and prepared for an extraordinary career as a celebrity chef, restaurant owner, and television personality. Ruiz was widely celebrated for his appearances on shows like Guy’s Grocery Games as an esteemed culinary expert.
What Shaped Carl Ruiz’s Early Life?
Carl Ruiz’s early years were shaped by a multicultural environment brimming with the aromas and tastes of both Colombian and Cuban cuisines. Born to parents Yezzid and Elisa Ruiz, Carl’s inclination towards cooking was evident from a young age. The dishes and flavors from his family’s kitchen, particularly the recipes from his mother and grandmother, played an instrumental role in fueling his passion. This passion, combined with formal culinary training from the Institute of Culinary Education, would set the foundation for a prosperous career that touched many lives.
How Did Carl Ruiz Build His Culinary Career?
Starting his culinary journey as a sous chef at Dish in Clifton, New Jersey, Carl’s skills and charisma soon propelled him to the position of executive chef at Sabor in North Bergen by 2002. The bustling city of New York witnessed his prowess when he took over the culinary operations at Son Cubano. The restaurant, apart from offering exquisite Cuban dishes, was renowned for its vibrant nightlife and live music. The year 2011 was a significant milestone as Carl, along with his then-wife Marie Riccio, opened Marie’s Italian Specialties – an Italian deli that soon became a hotspot for food enthusiasts.
What Role Did Food Network Play in Carl Ruiz’s Life?
Carl Ruiz’s association with the Food Network, particularly with the iconic chef Guy Fieri, proved to be transformative. His restaurant, Marie’s Italian Specialties, was featured on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” catapulting him to nationwide recognition. The Food Network, known for its diverse array of cooking shows, became a platform where Carl showcased his culinary talents. His frequent collaborations with Guy Fieri made him a household name, especially as a judge on shows like “Guy’s Grocery Games” and “Guy’s Ranch Kitchen.”
What Caused Carl Ruiz’s Untimely Death?
On September 21st of 2019 marked a tragic day for culinary industry members as Carl Ruiz passed away at 44 due to atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease – an accumulation of fats and cholesterol within arterial walls which restricts blood flow to vital organs, such as his heart. Carl’s demise happened while he was sleeping while visiting friends in Bel Air Maryland. The suddenness of his passing sent shockwaves across the industry and among his countless admirers.
By honoring his legacy through initiatives like The Carl Ruiz Scholarship Foundation, we ensure that the spirit of Carl Ruiz lives on, nurturing and inspiring budding chefs for generations to come.