Food Network star and celebrity chef Carl Ruiz died from a hardening of his arteries ... TMZ has learned.
A spokesperson for the Maryland Department of Health tells TMZ ... Ruiz died after succumbing to atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease -- typically a buildup of fats, cholesterol and other substances in arteries which restricts blood flow.
The finding confirms the suspicions of Carl's family ... that he died of a heart attack.
I’m heartbroken that my friend chef Carl Ruiz is gone. I have no words to describe what a great friend he was to me and my family. His ability to make me laugh and smile under any circumstances was only outshined by his talent as a chef. pic.twitter.com/einY8qp7wf