Jean-Robert de Cavel, a renowned Cincinnati, Ohio chef, died Friday at the age of 61 after battling cancer. According to his family, he was suffering from leiomyosarcoma for five years.
“Cincinnati will miss a wonderful, loving chef. But my daughter and I will miss our husband and dad the most,” his wife, Annette de Cavel, said in a release.
Last year, Cincinnati honored de Cavel on his 60th birthday in 2021 by renaming 7th Street at the corner of 7th as Vine Jean-Robert de Cavel Way.
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Who was Jean-Robert de Cavel?
Jean-Robert de Cavel was born in France on September 12, 1961. He studied at Le Feguide culinary school in Lille, France.
He moved to Cincinnati in 1993 at the age of 32 to become head chef de cuisine at La Maisonette. During his tenure from 1993-2002, La Maisonette became a five-star restaurant.
He was named a Master Chef by Maîtres Cuisiniers de France in 2007.
He was executive chef at Jean-Robert at Pigall’s from 2002 to 2009, and later operated Jean-Robert’s Table, Le Bar a Boeuf and French Crust Cafe. He and his wife founded the de Cavel Family SIDS Foundation after losing their first child, Tatiana, to sudden infant death syndrome. The foundation runs Eat.Play.Give: Friends and Family SIDS Brunch, a culinary event that is the country’s largest SIDS fundraiser.
He is also a four-time semifinalist for the James Beard Best Chef in the Great Lakes Region and a three-time James Beard nominee for Best Chef in the Midwest.
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He and his wife Annette Pfund de Cavel lived in Newport, Kentucky with their daughter Laeticia.
“I’m proud to be a Cincinnatian,” de Cavel said in a 2019 interview with WCPO. “The life of downtown, it wasn’t what it is today. I was part of it. It’s that beautiful evolution.”