Hells Kitchen, Gordon Ramsay, Joseph Cerniglia

Fox

Gordon Ramsay knows when to tone it down when need be.

"I was fortunate to spend time with Joe during the first season of Kitchen Nightmares," the culinary-competition dynamo said in a statement Tuesday night, responding to the suicide of restaurant owner Joe Cerniglia

"Joe was a brilliant chef, and our thoughts go out to his family, friends and staff," Ramsay said.

Cerniglia's troubled New Jersey eatery Campania was featured on the first season of Kitchen Nightmares, the U.K. transplant on which Ramsay offers his services to whip (heavy on the whipping) struggling restaurants into shape.

The 39-year-old chef killed himself by jumping from the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson River.

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