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Famed New York City chef James Kent dies at 45

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(NEW YORK) — James Kent, the famed chef behind some of New York’s top restaurants, has died, his restaurants and hospitality group announced on Saturday. 

“We are heartbroken to share that James Kent passed away unexpectedly earlier today,” wrote Saga Hospitality Group in an Instagram post announcing the 45-year-old chef’s death. Kent helmed some of the most luxurious restaurants in New York City including Crown Shy, Overstory and Saga. 

“The Saga Hospitality Group family is focused on supporting each other and most importantly Kelly, Gavin and Avery as we grieve James’ loss,” the post said, mentioning Kent’s wife and children. The post ended with a message for followers to spend Father’s Day with their loved ones. 

The cause of Kent’s death was not disclosed by the hospitality group or his family as of time of publication. 

Harrison Ginsberg, the bar director and head of beverages for Kent’s group of restaurants, weighed in on Kent’s death. 

“Thank you for all the memories, Laughs, meals, and lessons,” wrote Ginsberg. “I was always in awe of how much you supported me, my career, the bar industry,” he continued. 

Kent was a New York City-born chef whose restaurants dominated the food scene and collected accolades including two Michelin stars for his noteworthy restaurant Saga, one Michelin star for Crown Shy, a downtown Manhattan eatery, and a spot on the ranking of the world’s best bars for Overstory, a 64th floor bar on Wall Street. In 2010, Kent won the Bocuse d’Or USA. 

Award-winning chef Gavin Kaysen paid tribute to Kent in an Instagram post recounting memories he shared with the chef and expressing shock at the news, sharing that he is “angry that the universe has taken from us without an apology or a reason.” 

“What never wavered was his smile, his positive attitude and his love for everyone around him. Our kids grew up together, playing in the city and making us and my kids feel like we deserved to be in that city,” wrote Kaysen. 

Other notable New York City chefs and restaurants Daniel Boulud, Dan Kluger, Kwame Onwuachi and The Dead Rabbit Pub also shared tributes to Kent in Instagram posts. 

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