Spanish chef Santi Santamaria dies suddenly in Singapore
Last night, Santi Santamaria, the man who brought Catalan food to the world, collapsed in the kitchen of his restaurant Santi at the Marina Bay Sands before passing away a couple of hours later.
The 53 year-old was believed to have suffered a heart attack.
The three-star Michelin chef from Barcelona famous for his restaurant El Raco de Can Fabes was the first Catalan chef to achieve the honor of a three Michelin star restaurant. He was also known for his vocal criticisms of "molecular gastronomy" and rival Spanish chef Ferran Adria.
Santamaria was in Singapore as part of Marina Bay Sand's official opening and was one of six celebrity chefs taking part in the gourmet safari experience yesterday when he collapsed.
According to a report by Asiaone.com, food critic Cristino Alvarez [who told Fox News], who was speaking to him at the time, said his last words to him before collapsing were: "I'm taking a turn for the worse."
Just hours earlier the advocate for locally sourced produce was speaking jovially at the press conference about his restaurant Santi.
"Whether they are casino goers or high-rollers, they have to eat too ... and here, we have got everything for them," said Santamaria.
Earlier today, according to a report by AFP, Michelin-starred Daniel Boulud, Guy Savoy and Wolfgang Puck along with acclaimed Asian chefs Justin Quek and Tetsuya Wakuda gathered on stage to pay their respects to Santamaria.
"Santi was crazy about cooking, his cooking, and he was crazy about the one thing we all love -- great cuisine," said Wolfgang Puck.
"Santi loved to eat," said France's Savoy. "He has left us way too early. In its way, for him to leave us in his kitchen was a beautiful way for him to leave us."