Chinese chef-turned-TV personality Zhou Fude, who has been featured on numerous cooking shows in Japan, has died at the age of 71.

According to his relatives, Fude died of aspiration pneumonia at a Yokohama hospital last Tuesday.

Fude, known to the public by his Japanese name Shu Tomitoku, shot to fame with his unique skills in cooking Chinese cuisine and became a popular fixture on the cooking competition show Ryori no Tetsujin, or Iron Chef. In addition to his celebrity status, he ran two Chinese restaurants and marketed his own brand of sauces. The famed chef also wrote several cookbooks, and he was also featured as a lecturer on an NHK cooking program.

Tomitoku grew up in Yokohama’s Chinatown and learned how to cook from his father, who worked as a chef. He studied cooking after graduating from high school and opened his own restaurant.

One of his restaurants, Kantonmeisai Tomitoku, is a short walk from Gaienmae Station, and is a favorite among Japanese celebrities.

By Maesie Bertumen