Chef Michael Chiarello Passes

Chef Michael Chiarello Passes

Monday, October 9th, 2023

The California culinary scene is mourning the loss of a passionate leader as Chef Michael Chiarello recently passed away at Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa.

“We deeply mourn the loss of our beloved patriarch Michael,” shared the Chiarello Family. “His culinary brilliance, boundless creativity, and unwavering commitment to family were at the core of his being. He brought people together through the joy of shared meals, fostering lasting memories around the table. As we navigate this profound loss, we hold dear the moments we cherished with him, both in his kitchens and in our hearts. His legacy will forever live on in the love he poured into every dish and the passion he instilled in all of us to savor life’s flavors.”

The culinary visionary and true industry pioneer was born in 1962 in Red Bluff, California. According to a press release, his culinary passion ignited in his mother’s California kitchen, where he was enveloped in the traditions of his Southern Italian heritage.

Chiarello’s lifelong dream of becoming a chef led to remarkable achievements. A graduate of the esteemed Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in New York, he was a multitalented luminary. He earned accolades as a chef, vintner, specialty food trailblazer, philanthropist, accomplished author, and engaging television host. His culinary philosophy revolved around seasonal, sustainable ingredients, and he fervently supported the artisans and farmers who crafted them, fostering a culture of shared meals and unforgettable memories.

Expanding his impact beyond the kitchen, Chiarello was named Chef of the Year by Food & Wine Magazine in 1985, a mere three years after graduating from the CIA. Ten years later, he received the CIA’s Chef of the Year Award and was named Alumni of the Year in 2011. His many cookbooks garnered recognition from both IACP and the James Beard Foundation, and he revolutionized the olive oil industry with his innovative work with California olive oil in the mid-90s with his venture, Consorzio Flavored Oils.

“Chef Michael Chiarello’s passion for food and life will forever be etched in our kitchens and our hearts. While we mourn Michael’s passing, we also celebrate his legacy that continues with his restaurants, Bottega, Coqueta (San Francisco and Napa Valley), and Ottimo,” said his longtime partners in Gruppo Chiarello. “In remembrance, we ask that you join us in celebrating his remarkable journey and the incredible impact he had on the world of food, wine, and family by inviting you to share a meal with your family and friends to remind all of us that the bonds forged over a meal are among life’s most precious treasures.”

For more information about this distinguished leader’s impressive career, click here. DMN sends our deepest condolences to all who know this culinary trailblazer.