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Gary Rhodes dead: Masterchef and Hell’s Kitchen star dies in Dubai, aged 59



Gary Rhodes, the celebrity British chef, has died after suddenly falling ill in Dubai, aged 59.

Rhodes was best known for fronting programmes including MasterChef, Hell’s Kitchen and MasterChef USA.

According to a family statement sent to The Independent, Rhodes passed away on Tuesday evening.

“The Rhodes family are deeply saddened to announce the passing of beloved husband, father and brother, Gary Rhodes OBE,” it reads. “The family would like to thank everyone for their support and ask for privacy during this time.”

Rhodes had been taking a break from filming a new TV series when he suddenly became very unwell, the production company behind the show has said.

The company, Goldfinch, shared the news in a joint statement with its subsidiary, Rock Oyster Media. “Gary was in the middle of filming a wonderful new series with Rock Oyster Media for ITV from his base in Dubai,” the statement reads.

“All at Rock Oyster Media and Goldfinch are devastated by this tragic news. Gary was taken ill very suddenly at home during a break in filming and died a short time afterwards. Production was obviously halted as soon as Gary was taken ill and members of the Rock Oyster Team remain in Dubai to support the family as best they can.”

In addition to owning four restaurants, two of which are in Dubai, the acclaimed chef had his own line of cooking items and bread mixes.

Rhodes had a restaurant called Rhodes W1 at Grosvenor House Dubai and another named Rhodes Twenty10 at Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort.

On news of his death, both hotels released the following joint statement: “The team at Grosvenor House Dubai and Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort and Spa are devastated to hear of the tragic passing of Chef Gary Rhodes OBE. Not only has the industry lost a true culinary legend, we have also lost an inspirational human being and a very dear friend.

“No words can express our sadness at Gary’s death or our gratitude for the opportunity to work with him. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Rhodes family.”

Rhodes, born in South London, opened his first restaurant in 1997 named City Rhodes and a year later opened his second, Rhodes in the Square – both were awarded Michelin Stars.

By 1999 he had opened three Rhodes & Co brasseries in Manchester, Edinburgh and West Sussex.

Rhodes opened his first restaurant overseas in 2004 in the Calabash Hotel in Grenada. He then went on to see major success with restaurants in London, including Rhodes Twenty Four at Tower 42, which won its first Michelin Star in 2005. He also ran restaurants aboard P&O superliners.

He made his first TV appearance at the age of 27 on a programme called Hot Chefs and went on to front his own food programmes, including Rhodes Around Britain, before hosting the original Masterchef USA for two seasons in 2000 and 2001.

The chef moved to Dubai in 2011, having opened Rhodes Twenty10 the previous year, and went on to open his first restaurant in Abu Dhabi in 2013.

Rhodes published more than 20 cookery books, including New British Classics and The Complete Cookery Year.

In addition to his restaurants, books and TV programmes, Rhodes was an established personal chef, having cooked for everyone from Tom Hanks to Princess Diana.

In 2006, Rhodes was rewarded with an OBE for his services to the hospitality industry.

Following the news of his death, many celebrities and fellow chefs have expressed their condolences on social media.

Jamie Oliver praised Rhodes as a “fantastic chef” on Instagram while Great British Bake Off winner Candace Brown tweeted: “So so sad to hear about Gary Rhodes. His banana and syrup loaf was the first thing I baked all on my own. The pages are stuck together with syrup.”

The cause of death has not yet been confirmed.

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Caribbean & World

Grenada should never reach ‘stage 4’




by Linda Straker

The week of 15 March 2020 saw the rise of Covid-19 cases in the United Kingdom and the United States of America, in particular the state of New York. It marked the turning point for most countries in the OECS countries, and by extension the members of Caricom.

From all indications, flights arriving at airports in the region came with passengers who had to clear Immigrations and Customs, but also sadly allowed entry to the islands with the permission of another immigration officer, the dreaded coronavirus which is causing the Covid-19.

Many will now question why our governments did not lock down ports of entry, and that itself has many arguments of economics, social and otherwise, but what is factual is that from all records, almost 80% of all index cases arrived in the OECS between 15–21 March. It was around the same time that the message of self-quarantine became the trend for all arriving passengers.

If the middle of March was our index week with self-quarantine, which few of these arriving passengers obeyed, that using a 14-day incubation period, it would be safe to say that as of 29 March 2020, Grenada and most other regional territories must be on the lookout for community transmission.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) describes community transmission as stage 3 of infection, and defines that stage as “when a person who has no travel history has contracted the infection through domestic sources.”

With all our ports of entry restricting the arrival of passengers, it will not be correct to describe future positive Covid-19 cases as imported (stage 1), import-related or local transmission (stage 2). Stage 4 of infection is when the disease is declared an epidemic.

Grenada should never reach stage 4, and for that to happen, we as a nation must comply with the Covid-19 regulations and stay in our homes.

More people need to be at home, which means we should not be expanding our essential service workers or giving special permission to any company to operate full staff for the next 14 days if we are to achieve this goal of NOT arriving at stage 4.

Maybe we have reached the stage where the regulations need to be updated and remove some of these essential workers from the list in the best interest of the country.

I cannot understand why restaurant workers are essential. We are home, so we should cook, and those who forgot how to cook or don’t know how to cook, call a friend on the phone and don’t be ashamed to ask for guidance. You will not die if you eat rice and chicken for 14 days. Throw in some peas, coconut milk, and other ingredients in the cook up.

Ask your grandmother or aunt how to make bakes. You don’t need bread from the bakery. Making such sacrifice is what is required of a patriot citizen so that we never reach Stage 4 of Covid-19.

Remember, Covid-19 entered the island without the permission of an immigration officer and it cannot be deported, but we can kill and bury it without a tombstone! Be patriotic. Kill Covid-19. Make the 14 days sacrifice for our future generations and the survival of this country.

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Caribbean & World

Marketing & National Importing Board (MNIB) offers help to vendors




Vendors who are affected by the shutdown of vending operations and have perishable produce items in their possession, now have the opportunity to either sell the items to MNIB or store the items at MNIB‘s facility.

The River Road facility will be open from 9 am to noon on Sunday, 29 March 2020 to facilitate the vendors. Vendors can call 423-4965, 534-5701, or 419-0199 to make arrangement for delivery before showing up at the facility.

Any item the vendor wishes to sell should be of marketable quality and price should be discussed prior to delivery.

Deliveries will also be accepted from Monday to Friday between 8 am to 2 pm once prior arrangement has been made.


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Caribbean & World

Grenada confirms 2 more cases of coronavirus




The Minister for Health has announced that 2 more laboratory-confirmed cases of Covid-19 have been diagnosed on mainland Grenada.

This brings the number of total confirmed cases of Covid-19 to nine. Of that number, one is an imported case, and the other is likely an import-related case, with relatives who were visiting from New York.

“The new cases are as follows: A 72-year-old female, who started experiencing symptoms on 20 March and was tested on 25 March. Since the onset of her symptoms, she has been under the care of a doctor. Healthcare officials are aggressively investigating, in an effort to determine the exact point of contact, as well as potential mass exposure, given that the relatives arrived on a flight from NY on 17 March.”

Healthcare officials do not yet know the exact point of contact for this particular case, but are operating under the assumption that all of the foregoing are real possibilities, just to be safe. The Minister stated that once that information is available, the public will be informed.

“The second case is a 50-year-old male who was on the same flight from the United Kingdom on 16 March, sitting within a 6-foot radius of our first confirmed case, and several of the other cases that were confirmed two days ago on 26 March. Both individuals, as well as the other cases previously announced, are all exhibiting mild to moderate symptoms.”

The minister also gave reports on testing, citing that 9 people have been tested positive so far, and 35 negative, with none pending, but with the developments now, we anticipate that this will change overnight.

“The pending cases are all under surveillance so as to contain further spread of the disease. The testing included people who we have been found through contact tracing, as well as people who had ailments, such as respiratory issues.”

With increasing numbers of cases, CARPHA has been working with Grenada and the rest of the region to deliver results in as timely a manner as possible. This is why, now that numbers are increasing, the healthcare team is sparing no effort in contact tracing to determine points of contact, as well as to ascertain the possibility of community spread.

In terms of quarantine and isolation measures, the ministry continues to rigorously enforce those. Several entire households are presently under quarantine, and the RGPF has been asked to further tighten their surveillance mechanisms to rigidly ensure that people are observing the rules. The ministry remains vigilant.

The ministry’s medical team, led by Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr Shawn Charles, has been working tirelessly on actively following up with contact tracing since our first case, and even more so after our next 6 cases were confirmed 2 days ago. Health officials have already moved to isolate and monitor several others, who were in close contact with any of the cases. This will continue for the next 14 days, at least. All confirmed cases are being reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO), and Pan American Health Organisation Organisation.”

The minister urged the public to report or inform the Ministry of Health or nearest health facility, of any possible, or suspected individuals displaying acute respiratory symptoms at this time.

Minister Steele asked that anyone who believes he or she is exhibiting symptoms of the virus, not to leave their house or take public transportation, and instead, should call the health hotline at 538 4787 or 458 4787.

In closing, the Minister of Health emphasised again, that the entire population must continue to rigidly observe the practices and precautions necessary to contain the spread of Covid-19, here in the State of Grenada.

“A Limited State of Emergency is in place to safeguard the population from further spread of the virus. Failure to comply with those measures is potentially fatal to the general population. For every one person who contracts the disease, potentially dozens more are exposed and vulnerable. Do the math.”

He implored the public to be their brother’s keeper because an individual’s actions can potentially have life or death consequences for someone else. The Minister of Health again urged the public to wash hands frequently; practice proper cough and sneeze hygiene; refrain from touching their eyes, nose or mouth with unclean hands. “It is extremely critical that you also maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet. Those are simple measures you can take daily to do your part to curb the spread of Covid-19.”


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