A former contestant on the popular cooking show "Hell's Kitchen" has died.
Paulie Giganti, 36, of Brooklyn, New York, was found unresponsive at his Philadelphia home on April 20, Radar Online reported. He was best-known for his appearance on Fox's hit reality TV show "Hell's Kitchen."
"There is no cause of death at this time as this just happened today," an official told Radar Online. "Police were at the scene."
Giganti was a self-taught cook who originally wanted to become an engineer, he said during a previous interview with My Take on TV. He started working at a restaurant after 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," Giganti told My Take on TV. "You can keep ripping and running and hit that jail cell, or you can do something that you’ll always find work."
"He kind of took me under his wing, showed me a things," Giganti continued. "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."
Giganti, who ran a restaurant called Birra in Philadelphia, appeared on season 16 of "Hell's Kitchen" hosted by Gordon Ramsay. The season aired from September 2016 to February 2017.
“Honestly, the only reason I participated -- my owner threw me into it. I didn’t want to do it, but he thought that I would be enough of a character that they would pick me," Giganti said. "I went on the show because I’m a hard worker. ... As a life experience, I figured when I’m 65 years old, and sitting at the bar stool, what stories am I going to have to tell?"
"I figured it would be a good life experience," Giganti added. "I don’t think I’d ever do it again, you know what I mean, but I think it was good for the one time. I enjoyed it; it was an experience for life."
Giganti made it to the top five, but was eliminated from the show in episode 14. When asked what he would remember most about the show, he said the "places we ate!"
"If you won a challenge, you got to do something, like a trapeze thing. I would never do that in my personal life," Giganti explained. "We went to Santa Monica Pier. There are things I’ll take from it, sure; I’ll look back on things with a smile.
"The whole experience was a good life experience. Was it something life-affirming like 'okay, I’ve made it,' but I was happy to do it, and it was cool.”