By Adam Markovitz
Updated September 28, 2010 at 10:09 PM EDT

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay has opened up about the suicide of Joseph Cerniglia, a contestant on Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares reality TV series. Cerniglia, 39, took his own life on Friday by jumping from NYC’s George Washington Bridge. “I was fortunate to spend time with Joe during the first season of Kitchen Nightmares,” says Ramsay in a statement. “Joe was a brilliant chef, and our thoughts go out to his family, friends and staff.”

Cerniglia is the second Ramsay series alum to commit suicide: In 2007, Hell’s Kitchen contestant Rachel Brown took her own life.