James Kent, Renowned New York Chef and Crown Shy Restaurant Owner, Passes Away

James Kent Chef Death: Jamal James Kent, a renowned American chef and Crown Shy restaurant owner, has died at 46. His death was announced on Saga’s Instagram on Saturday evening. In his honor, Crown Shy, Saga, and Overstory will be closed on Sunday, June 16.

Who Was James Kent?

Jamal James Kent was a highly influential and accomplished chef in New York City. He rose to prominence after winning the Bocuse d’Or USA 2010 and representing the U.S. at the international finals in Lyon, France, where he and his commis, Tom Allan, placed tenth. Kent’s culinary journey began at the age of 15 as a summer apprentice at Bouley. After completing his education, he honed his skills at renowned New York restaurants such as Babbo, Jean-Georges, and Gordon Ramsay.

A Stellar Career

Jamal James Kent founded three top restaurants in the Financial District. These include Saga, a two-Michelin-starred spot, Overstory, a high bar, and Crown Shy on the ground floor. His hospitality group was about to open five more eateries. This expansion was a partnership with Paris’s Printemps store at 1 Wall Street, expanding his culinary empire.

Before this, Kent led the kitchen at the Michelin-starred Nomad. There, he worked with Daniel Humm and Will Guidara. He also worked at Eleven Madison Park as chef de cuisine and sous chef from 2007 to 2013. Reflecting on his time there, Kent said, “I grew from a young cook to a chef and father.”

Community and Creativity

During the pandemic, Kent helped his staff and community. He gave severance to employees and fed the hungry. Also, his project at 70 Pine Street provided meals. With American Express, his restaurants built Shy Village. It featured yurts for outdoor dining in winter.

Kent was not just a cook. He was also a graffiti artist. His work was displayed in the yurts.

Personal Life

Jamal James Kent was married and had two children. He fondly recalled bringing his firstborn to Eleven Madison Park for their first restaurant visit, humorously noting, “I went in to prove that I really had a kid.”

Legacy and Future Endeavors

Kent operates three successful restaurants at 70 Pine Street. Crown Shy, the first, opened in 2019. It quickly earned a Michelin star for its seasonal menu. Overstory, a cocktail bar on the 64th floor, is among the top 20 in the World’s 50 Best Bars. Saga, just one floor below, holds two Michelin stars. Its menu blends European and New York City influences.

Now, Kent’s group plans to open a new restaurant. It is inspired by his grandmother and houseboat summers. This spot will be at 360 Park Avenue South. It will feature Chef Danny Garcia and Pastry Chef Renata Ameni.

Cause of Death

Jamal James Kent’s family has not disclosed his cause of death. His passing deeply impacts the culinary and New York City restaurant community.

He will be remembered as a talented chef, leader, and artist. Those who enjoyed his food and spirit will cherish his memory.

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