Gary Rhodes tributes: Dubai chefs Reif Othman, Vineet Bhatia and Nick and Scott remember a 'true gentleman'
Members of the UAE's food scene have been paying tribute to the chef
British chef Gary Rhodes died suddenly in Dubai on Tuesday, November 26, aged 59.
In a statement, his family announced yesterday that "the Rhodes family are deeply saddened to announce the passing of beloved husband, father and brother, Gary Rhodes OBE.
"Gary passed away last evening, Tuesday 26th November 2019, at the age of 59, with his beloved wife Jennie by his side. The family would like to thank everyone for their support and ask for privacy during this time."
Having lived here since 2010, Rhodes was an established member of the UAE's food scene, with two restaurants, Rhodes Twenty10 at Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort and Spa; and Rhodes W1 at Grosvenor House. According to the hotel's website, Rhodes Twenty10 is currently "temporarily closed".
In the days running up to his death, Rhodes was seen filming his new TV show in restaurants around Dubai. Many of the country's chefs have paid tribute to Rhodes in touching social media posts.
"I am saddened to hear of the passing of Gary Rhodes. I grew up watching him on telly and even got the opportunity to meet and work with him just a week ago," chef Reif Othman wrote on Instagram. "He has so much energy and charisma that it projects to all who knew him. A culinary legend who will be truly missed. Sending my prayers to his wife [Jennie] and their two boys. RIP."
Othman is the chef behind Reif Japanese Kushiyaki at Dar Wasl mall, and has previously been in the kitchen at Zuma Dubai, Play Restaurant and Billionaire Mansion.
Like Rhodes, British chef Gordon Ramsay has eateries in the UAE. He used to head up Verre at the Hilton Dubai Creek, and is still behind Bread Street Kitchen and Bar at Atlantis The Palm.
"We lost a fantastic chef today in Gary Rhodes. He was a chef who put British Cuisine on the map," he wrote in a Tweet. "Sending all the love and prayers to your wife and kids. You’ll be missed Gx".
Nick and Scott
Chefs Nick Alvis and Scott Price both worked with Ramsay at Verre, and went on to become established names in the Dubai restaurant scene. For a time they headed up Table 9, also at the Hilton Dubai Creek, and are now behind Folly by Nick & Scott.
A week before Rhodes' death, on Tuesday, November 19, they shared a photo with the chef at Folly, writing, "Great day filming at folly cooking with Gary Rhodes for his new TV series."
They then shared the same photo in black and white upon news of his death, with the tribute, "Well we are posting this picture again, but for an entirely different reason. What an absolute, legend, icon, inspiration and gentleman! It was an honour to have known you since we arrived in Dubai and we have been humbled by your support over the past decade. After years of saying it, we finally got the chance to work together in the kitchen.
"Your passion never faded and it was evident for all that you have touched. Rest in peace Chef and happy cooking!"
Like Rhodes, Indian chef Vineet Bhatia runs restaurants at Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort and Spa, and Grosvenor House, Bhatia is behind Indya by Vineet and Indego by Vineet, respectively.
It's been suggested by the Daily Mail that one of the last photos of Rhodes was taken with Bhatia.
On Monday, November 24 Bhatia shared a photo of the two of them at Indya by Vineet, writing, "Great to catch up with [Gary Rhodes]."
Like Nick and Scott, he then reshared the same image, with the caption, "Extremely sad to know of Chef Gary Rhodes sudden passing away. Had known this gem of a man and an amazing chef for years and in fact filmed with him just four days ago in Dubai for his new TV series.
"RIP my friend and may God give strength to Jennie and your boys in these tough times."
Richard Sandoval is another chef with eateries at Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort and Spa, and Grosvenor House – he runs Zengo, Maya Mexican Kitchen and Bar, and Toro Toro. He is also behind VaKaVa at Jumeirah Etihad Towers.
Sandoval shared a tribute to Rhodes on Twitter, writing, "We have lost a great chef and human being in Gary Rhodes. He was always one to raise the bar in the culinary world with his attention to detail. I will miss his presence at the [Grosvenor House] in Dubai. My thoughts are with his family and loved ones."
Chef Nathan Outlaw posted a tribute to Rhodes on his Instagram, with a throwback photo of the two of them.
"You made British chefs proud of cooking British food and so much more," Outlaw wrote. "Thank you for giving me the inspiration to cook and become a chef when I started cooking at Thanet College in Kent. Rest in peace chef x".
Until April this year, Outlaw ran the kitchen at the Burj Al Arab's seafood restaurant, Al Muntaha. The chef and hotel ended its partnership earlier this year.
Not a chef, but an entertainment institution that Rhodes worked closely with to create Theatre By Rhodes, Vox Cinemas shared a statement following news of the chef's death, writing: "Majid Al Futtaim and VOX Cinemas are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our trusted friend and partner Chef Gary Rhodes OBE.
"We will remember fondly Chef’s legendary energy, passion and commitment, and cherish the countless great experiences we enjoyed with one of the world’s true gentlemen. Our thoughts and condolences are with the Rhodes family during this difficult time."
Updated: November 28, 2019 11:54 AM