Ross Burden dead: MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook star dies at age 45 after suffering from cancer
The celebrity chef died unexpectedly following complications in his cancer treatment
Ross Burden, who rose to fame after appearing on MasterChef, has died aged 45.
The celebrity chef, who was born in New Zealand and became a UK household name after reaching the final of the BBC cooking series in 1993, passed away at Auckland City Hospital on 17 July after suffering from cancer.
His sister, Kirsten Hughes, said Burden was diagnosed with a form of leukaemia last July, but died unexpectedly after contracting an infection during a bone marrow transplant.
Hughes told the New Zealand Herald that Burden had been one assignment away from completing a Masters in Maori Studies at Auckland University.
She said: "He's just a friendly, compassionate guy - nothing was too much trouble. He was my big, fantastic incredible, larger-than-life brother.
"Right up until probably a week-and-a-half ago, he was making his next lot of plans. He had the world map out."
The self-trained chef appeared on the programme Ready Steady Cook alongside Ainsley Harriott, with whom he produced several best-selling cookery books.
In 2010 he returned to New Zealand to join the judging panel on the country’s first MasterChef series.
Fellow MasterChef judge Simon Gault told the New Zealand Herald: “He was great to work with. He was never a minute without a laugh or a joke - great sense of humour.”
With his dark good looks, the chef was once described as one of the UK’s most eligible bachelors and "the tastiest man in Britain". He later came out as gay.
He cooked for a number of famous individuals, including Princess Anne and actress Joan Collins.
Burden is survived by Hughes, his mother Anne and extended family.
Read more: MasterChef final 2014
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