Tributes for celebrity chef Les Da Chef have been pouring in on social media since his death was announced on Monday, 12 June.

The news about Les’ passing was announced on Twitter by talent manager Miz Marcee, who asked people to keep his family and friends in their prayers.

The loved chef was the host of Mzansi Magic cooking show Celebrity Mystery Box and the author of the cookbook, Dijo.

Miz wrote: “It is with great pain that I have to share this: Chef Lesego Semenya @LesDaChef has passed away. Please keep his family and friends in your thoughts. We have lost a huge part of our heart. We will never be whole again. RIP Lesego.”

The cause of death hasn’t been announced yet.

Industry colleagues, companies and fans have been expressing heartbreak over his death.

His girlfriend, Sisipho Gcanga has also been sharing memories she had with Les about their first date on Twitter.

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“Our first date was a weekend at a beautiful hotel/wedding venue. Les thought it would be cool to take this picture at the chapel so we could recreate it later one day ‘maybe in a white dress’, he said. We straight-up talked about a wedding (in detail) on our first date,” she wrote.

Celebrity chef Siba Mtongana said: “Yoooooh! I’m still numb. . . This is truly heartbreaking. Gone too soon. . . One of South Africa’s finest chefs!! Lesego Semenya, aka @lesdachef . . . Great loss for the industry and the country at large. Strength, love and comfort to the Semenya family and friends in this very difficult time.”

DStv also thanked the late chef for his contribution to the food industry: “Rest In Peace, Chef! You will be dearly missed. . . your passion, talent, craft, skills, energy, humour and kindness. Thank you for your immense contribution to our food heritage and being a credible voice in the culinary industry. Rea leboga, Lesego!”

The South African Chefs Association said: “SA Chefs is saddened and devastated to hear of the passing of an esteemed colleague and friend, chef Lesego Semenya, the unfailing champion of heritage food. An avid supporter, ever willing to assist with events and also with training. Chef, you have certainly left your mark on us all, a real void in the industry. On behalf of the president, directors, members, associates and friends of SA Chefs, we convey our sincere condolences to the Semenya family.”