Paulie Giganti, who competed on season 16 of Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen, died of an accidental drug overdose.
The Brooklyn-born chef’s body tested positive for drugs, the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office tells TMZ. There were no further details on which drug or drugs were used.
He was 36.
Neighbors reported a foul smell to authorities on Thursday and police discovered his body sprawled out on his bedroom floor, the site reports.
Giganti ran a restaurant called Birra in Philadelphia.
A self-taught cook, he originally wanted to be an engineer, he said in an interview with mytakeontv.com following his Hell’s Kitchen appearance.
He got his start working in a restaurant during college.
‘I got into a little bit of a trouble…and I had a chef, who was working at the restaurant who said, look, kid, you’ve got a little talent for this. You can keep ripping and running and hit that jail cell, or you can do something that you’ll always find work,’ Giganti explained.
‘He kind of took me under his wing, showed me a things. I just worked diligently for him, and it was just a job that I had that I enjoyed. I figured out that I was actually good at it, and then, so the story goes.’
Season 16 of Hell’s Kitchen hosted by Gordon Ramsay aired from September 2016 to February 2017.
Giganti made it into the top five but was eliminated in episode 14 that aired on January 19.