Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 7 December 2019

'A very bright star that will never fade': Celebrity chefs in the UAE pay tribute to Gary Rhodes

Yannick Alleno, Jason Atherton and Nathan Outlaw join star cooks from the local restaurant scene paying tribute to the late British chef

Tributes have been paid to chef Gary Rhodes who died in Dubai this week, detailing the legacy the culinary star leaves behind.

The celebrated British chef had lived in the Emirates since 2010. He died aged 59 on Tuesday, November 26, after sustaining a brain injury following a fall at his home in Dubai.

The teams at Grosvenor House Dubai and Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort and Spa, where Rhodes ran fine-dining restaurants RhodesTwenty10 and Rhodes W1, said they were "devastated to hear of the tragic passing ... Not only has the industry lost a true culinary legend, we have also lost an inspirational human being and a very dear friend".

The culinary circle in the UAE is small but mighty, and one in which Rhodes had a strong presence. Those within the industry have since paid touching tribute to the late chef, who was known for his love of British cuisine and his distinctive spiky hair.

Simon Rimmer, the man behind The Scene in Dubai’s Pier 7 and on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, posted a picture of Rhodes on his Instagram. He wrote that Rhodes was “the champion of British food and gave me some of the best advice I’ve ever had at the start of my career".

Michelin-starred Jason Atherton, of Dubai’s Marina Social, also posted a heartfelt tribute on social media, calling Rhodes a “true chef, genius not only in the kitchen but out of it.”

"Gary was one of the very first that paved the way as a true chef," he wrote. "He showed us how you could not only be successful in the kitchen but also write amazing books, do amazing TV shows and was one of the true greats."

Rhodes was known for his love of British food and ingredients, something that chef Nathan Outlaw commented on in an online homage. The Cornwall chef, who recently concluded a two and a half year partnership with Dubai’s Burj Al Arab, called Rhodes his inspiration.

"You made British chefs proud of cooking British food and so much more," Outlaw wrote.

French culinary master Yannick Alleno also took to Instagram to post a simple tribute to Rhodes. Alleno’s fine-dining restaurant has been operating at One&Only The Palm Dubai for almost eight years and he’s no stranger to the city that Rhodes called home.

Tom Aikens, the youngest British chef to receive two Michelin stars and the founder of Pots, Pans and Boards in Dubai’s JBR, wrote on Instagram that Rhodes was “a very bright big star that has been lost but will never fade.”

"I had the opportunity as a teenager to go and work with Gary for a few weeks at the Greenhouse," Aikens wrote. "Although I was more than exceptionally nervous he was so welcoming and friendly and one of the happiest bubbly people I had met."

David Myers, also known as The Gypsy Chef thanks to his love of travel, paid tribute to the late chef with a picture of himself and Rhodes on Instagram. The owner of Bleu Blanc and Basta! at Renaissance Downtown Dubai wrote that he was “a great person and a remarkable ambassador of British cooking".

Dubai chefs Reif Othman, Vineet Bhatia and Nick and Scott previously paid tribute to Rhodes following news of his passing.

Updated: November 30, 2019 08:56 AM

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