R.I.P. Jack Riebel

Chef passed away this morning of neuroendocrine cancer. He lived well, full of fight, until a couple of weeks ago, when he finally sat down and let it go.

I met Jack Riebel when he was working at the Dakota in Minneapolis in the 2000s, where he transformed a traditional jazz club menu into something unforgettable. My wife Sarah Deming would come out with me when the Bad Plus did our stint every Xmas; Jack had just started dating Kathryne Cramer, and within a few years Sarah would attend their wedding. During the past year Sarah spent a lot of time with Jack and Kathryne, and Sarah was at present this morning at the finish.

Photo from August:

Earlier in the summer, Chef, Kathryne, Sarah, and myself enjoyed a spectacular Fourth of July together in Greenpoint watching the fireworks. Chef believed in America at its best, and his extraordinary cooking proved that he was right to believe.