Santamaria was at his restaurant Santi, at Marina Sands in Singapore, last night (Wednesday) when he suffered a suspected heart attack.
The chef was reportedly at a press event held at the resort complex, along with other high profile chefs Daniel Boulud and Guy Savoy who also have restaurants at the complex.
A friend of Santamaria who was at the event told the Wall Street Journal: “We were told that Santi suffered a heart attack around 8 p.m. in his restaurant’s kitchen. He was carried out on a stretcher, and then word came that he had passed away in the ambulance.”
Santamaria held seven Michelin stars in all – an additional two for Santceloni in Madrid, one for Tierra in Toldeo, and one for Evo in Barcelona – and had recently opened Ossiano in Dubai. He also owned La Manzana in Madrid and Bouquet in Barcelona.
Santamaria was probably best known for speaking out against ‘molecular gastronomy’, in particular the work of fellow Catalan chef Ferran Adria whom he claimed “… is poisoning his patrons with his added chemicals”.
Instead Santamaria favoured natural ingredients and traditional cooking techniques.