When news that Chef Carl Ruiz died, many sent out their condolences. Others remembered what made the Food Network star such an important voice in the culinary sphere. But Paula Deen made an insensitive joke.
While on The Big J Show on Hot 101.9 in Billings, Montana, Deen – a former Food Network chef – was asked whether she knew Ruiz. “No, I’m not (familiar with him), but I’m so sorry to hear that,” she said. It would have been OK if she just dropped it at that, but no, she continued. “You know they say the restaurant business will kill you, haha, no pun intended,” she said before laughing.
Ruiz reportedly died in his sleep of a heart attack and he spent more than 25 years working in the food and restaurant industry. He opened La Cubana in June.
Deen was criticized online for her poor judgment.