‘Hell’s Kitchen’ Chef Paulie Giganti Died From a Drug Overdose (UPDATE)
UPDATE (4/21/2017 at 3 p.m. ET):
We now know what caused the untimely passing of Hell’s Kitchen chef Paulie Giganti.
“It is an accidental death by drug intoxication,” James Garrow, spokesman at the Philadelphia Medical Examiner's office, reveals.
The office won’t release the type of drugs found in Paulie’s system — including whether they were prescribed.
What law enforcement does tell TMZ cops is how police discovered the reality star.
According to the site, a neighbor called the cops on Thursday complaining of a bad smell.
When officials arrived at the chef’s apartment, the door was open and his body was lying unresponsive on the floor.
The 36-year-old’s most recent job was at Philly restaurant Birra, though owner Gordon Dinerman shares the two had a mutual parting of ways in November.
"I'll miss him,” Gordon says, before adding the culinary wiz was talented, though sometimes troubled.
He admits he was "definitely a personality, which is how he got on TV,” and he relished in the restaurant’s increased popularity during the show’s airing.
"He loved it," his former boss details.
This story is still developing — stay tuned to Wetpaint for updates. Plus, scroll through for more background on this tragedy.
Original story (4/20/2017 at 6:15 p.m. ET):
Tragedy struck Hell’s Kitchen this week.
On the morning of April 20, chef Paulie Giganti was found dead in his Philadelphia home at the all-too-young age of 36.
The Philly Medical Examiner confirmed the heartbreaking news to RadarOnline.com, adding that his time of death was 8:55 a.m.
“There is no cause of death at this time, as this just happened today,” another official tells the site.
Additionally, law enforcement wouldn’t comment on whether trauma or foul play is suspected in the death.
“It hasn’t been deemed a homicide at this time," police share. "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 what happened.”
Fans will remember Paulie from his run on Season 16 of the FOX show, which aired last fall.
He finished fourth behind Heidi Parent, runner-up Heather Williams, and winner Kimberly-Ann "Ryan" Ryan. Both Heather and Ryan are feeling the weight of their friend's loss in the wake of the news.
First, season winner Ryan posted a moving tribute to her castmate on Thursday night.
“I love you paulie. you short little pain in my ass. rest in paradise my friend. this hurts,” she captions a shot of the two hugging on the show.
Heather also honored her pal by changing her profile picture to one with the two of them.
As of publication, neither host Gordon Ramsay nor FOX had commented on Paulie’s passing.
Despite getting so far in the competition, he wasn’t even a trained chef and actually went to school for engineering. He taught himself how to cook.
At the time of his passing, he ran Philly restaurant Birra, though when he competed, he was based in Brooklyn, New York.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first tragedy to hit the show.
In 2010, chef Joseph Cerniglia was found dead in NYC’s Hudson River from an apparent suicide.
Stay tuned to Wetpaint, as this story is still developing.