Hell’s Kitchen chef Paulie Giganti was found dead in his home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Thursday morning, according to media reports.
He was just 36 years old.
According to Radar, the medical examiner has confirmed that Giganti’s time of death was 8:55 a.m. on the morning of April 20.
It’s not clear how he died.
“There is no cause of death at this time as this just happened,” an official from the medical examiner’s office said. “Police were at the scene.”
An officer with the Philadelphia Police would not comment on whether there was trauma or foul play suspected at the time of this report:
“It hasn’t been deemed a homicide at this time. When you are dealing with someone of Mr. Giganti’s age uniformed police do routinely come out.”
“If it’s apparent his death was caused by another, then the homicide unit would get involved. We are going to have to wait for the autopsy to see.”
Giganti ran a restaurant in Philadelphia called Birra.
A New York native who went to school for engineering, Giganti was not a trained chef, but a self-taught one who learned on his own.
Fans will remember Paulie from his run on Season 16 of Hell’s Kitchen, the popular FOX cooking competition, which aired this past fall.
He turned in a strong showing, finishing fourth behind Heidi Parent, runner-up Heather Williams and winner Kimberly-Ann “Ryan” Ryan.
Not only did he win their respect, but their friendship; Heather and Ryan both have expressed that they’re devastated by this tragedy.
“I love you paulie. you short little pain in my ass. rest in paradise my friend. this hurts,” Ryan captioned a shot of the two hugging on TV.
Heather also changed her profile picture to one with the two of them. Neither host Gordon Ramsay nor FOX commented right away.
Ramsay’s brash brand of television and restaurant running has kept the show running for 16 seasons, but not without major controversy.
Nor is this the first time a former star died.
In 2010, Joseph Cerniglia died in an apparent suicide in the Hudson River, where Ramsay said his restaurant was about to be swimming.
Despite how ominous that word choice sounds, his family insisted he loved Ramsay and his time on show had nothing to do with his death.
Our thoughts are with Paulie’s family. May he, Joseph and all of these reality stars who have left this world far too soon rest in peace.