Paulie Giganti, former Hell’s Kitchen contestant and Birra chef, was found dead in his Philadelphia home on Thursday morning. He was 36.
“It is an accidental death by drug intoxication,” said James Garrow, spokesman at the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s office. The office does not release the type of drug involved or whether it was a prescription drug, he said.
Birra owner Gordon Dinerman said he and Giganti had a mutual parting of the ways in November.
“I’ll miss him,” Dinerman said. Giganti had worked at the popular restaurant for about five years. Dinerman described the chef as talented but sometimes troubled.
“He brought a consistency to our product which is why we are still around,” Dinerman said. “We did a little bit better than a lot of people because of him.”
Giganti was “definitely a personality, which is how he got on TV,” said Dinerman.
When the show aired, people would come by the restaurant to see the episodes.
“He loved it,” said Dinerman. – Philly.com