Famous Award Winning Chef Has Passed Away At Age 45

On May 4, 2024, award winning chef James Kent posted a series of pictures on Instagram in celebration of his 45th birthday. The pictures include his children and his wife, Kelly. He wrote in the caption, “In my happy place with the people I love, to celebrate my 45th spin on this planet. I take birthday wishes seriously these days and wish love, health and happiness.”

What’s heartbreaking for many is that Kent will no longer be making birthday wishes. Sadly, Kent has died.


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A post shared by James Kent (@chefjameskent)

Saga Hospitality Group broke the sad news of Kent’s death on Instagram just a little over a month after Kent’s 45th birthday. The post included a picture of Kent as well as a lengthy caption that explained, “We are heartbroken to share that James Kent passed away unexpectedly earlier today.”

Kent was chef behind some of the most celebrated restaurants in New York City including Saga, Crown Shy and Overstory. As the staff of these restaurants mourned Kent’s death, all three of these restaurants were closed on Father’s Day. The Saga Hospitality Group post explained, “Crown Shy, Saga and Overstory will be closed tomorrow: Sunday, June 16th. Celebrate Father’s Day with your loved ones.”


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A post shared by SAGA NYC (@saga_nyc)

Saga Hospitality Group did not include a cause of death in their post, but a representative for Kent’s team told ABC News that Kent died of a heart attack.

Many people comments on the Instagram post that announced Kent’s death, sharing their memories of Kent and how he changed their lives for the better. For example, one comment reads, “We are so completely heartbroken chef. You taught so many of us how to enjoy every moment of life and work, no matter what the challenge. You’ve been such a positive force in so so many lives. Rest in peace my friend. Your love will carry on.”

Kent took his job as a chef seriously. In the video below you can see him explain the process of creating an epic 7-course tasting menu at Saga, which is on the 63rd floor of a skyscraper in New York.

According to the New York Times, he is survived by his wife Kelly, who was his high school sweetheart, and their two children, Gavin and Avery. He is also survived by his his parents, two older brothers and his sister.