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'It's devastating' - Tribute paid to chef Gary Rhodes

PUBLISHED: 11:34 27 November 2019 | UPDATED: 15:07 27 November 2019

Gary Rhodes, 59, passed away on Tuesday evening. Picture: Georgie Gillard/PA Wire

Gary Rhodes, 59, passed away on Tuesday evening. Picture: Georgie Gillard/PA Wire

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Norfolk chefs have paid tribute to fellow chef Gary Rhodes, who has died aged 59 at his home in Dubai.

Galton Blackiston. Picture:: Jamie HoneywoodGalton Blackiston. Picture:: Jamie Honeywood

Norfolk chefs have paid tribute to fellow chef Gary Rhodes, who has died aged 59 at his home in Dubai.

Mr Rhodes' talents in the kitchen were showcased through numerous television appearances over the years, and he hosted shows including Rhodes around Britain, MasterChef, Master Chef UK and Hell's Kitchen.

Galton Blackiston, who owns Morston Hall near Holt and No.1 Cromer, was among those who worked with Mr Rhodes, and said he would be much missed.

He said: "It's devastating news. I first met Gary Rhodes probably 28 years ago, when he was really in his pomp.

"He had probably just signed up with the BBC then.

"He was a very talented chef."

Dan Fancett, another chef who co-ownes North Street Bistro in Burnham Market, worked under Mr Rhodes at his Rhodes 24 restaurant in London for around 18 months in his early 20s.

Mr Fancett, 35, said: "It was a massive honour working for Gary Rhodes. I worked very hard and learned a lot of things that I still use to this day.

"It was always a dream of mine to work for Gary because he is such an inspiration, an amazing British chef, one of the all-time greats."

Mr Rhodes was known as an ambassador of British cuisine and ingredients.

He received five Michelin stars during his career, appeared on the Great British Menu and took part in Strictly Come Dancing.

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He opened his first restaurant, called City Rhodes, in 1997.

Mr Rhodes was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2006. He moved to Dubai in 2011 and opened a restaurant in Abu Dhabi in 2013.

The hotels where Mr Rhodes most recently worked, Grosvenor House Dubai and Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort And Spa, said in a statement: "Not only has the industry lost a true culinary legend, we have also lost an inspirational human being and a very dear friend.

"No words can express our sadness at Gary's death or our gratitude for the opportunity to work with him. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Rhodes family."

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