This popular Food Network star Chef died today

Fox News Digital can confirm that celebrity chef and Food Network icon Michael Chiarello has passed away at age 61.

In a statement from Gruppo Chiarello, the deceased chef's company, a representative verified that he "passed away at Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa.''

"He spent his final moments surrounded by family and friends, who respectfully asked for privacy during this immensely sad and difficult period."

Michael Chiarello's program "Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello" won a Daytime Emmy in 2003.

Chiarello, who was born in Red Bluff, California in 1962, attended New York's Culinary Institute of America.

Three years after graduating, he was named chef of the year by Food & Wine Magazine.

Before opening other restaurants such as Bottega, Coqueta, and Ottimo, he opened the critically acclaimed Tra Vigne in Napa Valley, California, in 1987.

Chiarello also ventured into viticulture in 1999, when he founded the Chiarello Family vineyards and the NapaStyle line of artisanal foods, kitchenware, and home goods.

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