James Kent Cause of Death: Famed New York City Chef is No More


James Kent, a renowned chef and prosperous restaurateur in Manhattan who appeared destined to become a titan of the food industry, passed away on Saturday. He was forty-five.

James Kent Dies at 45:

James Kent, a highly talented and prominent chef in New York City, has away. Along with a growing collection of restaurants in his hospitality firm, he oversaw three restaurants in a historic building in the District: the two-Michelin-starred Saga, the sky-high bar Overstory, and the ground-floor Crown Shy. Before that, he served as executive chef at the Nomad, managing the kitchens for then-partners Daniel Humm and Will Guidara. He was also the sous chef and chef de cuisine at the three-Michelin-starred Eleven Madison Park. On Saturday, June 15, he passed away in New York. His age was forty-five.

Saga posted a notice of Kent’s passing on social media on Saturday night. It says, “We are deeply saddened to announce that James Kent passed away unexpectedly earlier today.” “As we mourn James’s passing, the Saga Hospitality Group is committed to helping one another and, above all, Kelly [his wife], Gavin, and Avery [his children, ages 15 and 13].” Eater has been in touch to verify the cause of the passing away.

Several significant openings are being planned by Kent’s hospitality firm, including one at 360 Park Avenue South, which was motivated by his grandmother and the houseboat he grew up on. The chef will be Danny Garcia: He was his executive sous chef at Nomad while they worked together and is presently on Bravo’s Top Chef. Renata Ameni will oversee the pastry department. Within the next several months, the eatery is scheduled to open just a few blocks from his junior high school.

Ameni also plans to create a bakery and café under the Saga Hospitality brand in Brooklyn’s remodeled Domino sugar mill building. It was also recently revealed that his business, under the direction of culinary director Gregory Gourdet, intends to create five restaurants at 1 Wall Street in collaboration with the upscale Paris department store Printemps. The eateries would range from a fine dining establishment to a simple cafe.

James Kent: Who was He?

His current commercial success story is the three restaurants housed in the Art Deco structure at 70 Pine Street. The first to open was Crown Shy in 2019, which has a Michelin star and serves an a la carte seasonal menu. At the time, Jeff Katz was a partner. Overstory, a cocktail bar launched on the 64th floor in 2021, is now rated in the top 20 of the World’s 50 Best Bars. A story below, Saga debuted simultaneously, including several terraces and equally stunning views. It has two stars from Michelin. The variety of New York City, Kent’s hometown, inspires the tasting menu based on European technique. His latest visit included touches honoring his Moroccan roots, such as a duck dish flavored with harissa and a Moroccan-style tea service.

He told Eater this past week that Kent and Katz gave money from an investor to unemployed employees during the epidemic. The eatery provided sustenance to the underprivileged and the inhabitants of 70 Pine Street. In collaboration with American Express, the eateries have built yurts called Shy Village to accommodate guests outside during the winter. Some of these bore the artwork of Kent, a graffiti artist who began in his teens.

Professional Background:

Before launching the three eateries, Kent worked as executive chef under Daniel Humm and Will Guidara at the Michelin-starred Nomad from 2013 to 2017. Before that, he worked at Eleven Madison Park from 2007 until 2013 as a sous chef and later as chef de cuisine. He recently described his experience there to Eater: “I walked in as a young cook, and I walked out as a chef and father.”

Kent has two kids and was married. Eleven Madison Park was his oldest child’s first restaurant, he claimed. He quipped, “I went in to prove that I had a kid,” just after the infant’s first checkup.

This past week, a few months after that interview, Kent shared his latest emphasis on work-life balance with Eater. He brought himself into the emergency room (ER) after experiencing a string of what he subsequently discovered were panic episodes while commuting to work at Eleven Madison Park, he claimed. After that incident, he started jogging and eventually founded the Crown Shy Jogging Club with his crew and wife, Kelly. He had become a vocal supporter of prioritizing mental health in the hospitality sector.

With his commis, Tom Allan, Kent won the renowned Bocuse d’Or USA early in his career in 2010; the two finished tenth in the Bocuse d’Or in Lyon, France, in 2011. In addition, he worked for Gordon Ramsay, Jean-Georges, and Babbo. He received his diploma from Providence, Rhode Island’s Johnson & Wales. Teenager Kent worked as an apprentice at the restaurant named after David Bouley.

The Instagram post stated, “Crown Shy, Saga, and Overstory will be closed tomorrow: Sunday, June 16.” “Spend Father’s Day with the people you care about.”

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