James Kent Has Died Aged 45

Kent, born and raised in Lower Manhattan, was a renowned chef who owned two Michelin-star restaurants, Saga and Crown Shy.

He also had an award-winning cocktail bar, Overstory.

Kent’s shock passing came as he was preparing to launch a new restaurant in collaboration with Bravo’s Top Chef star Danny Garcia.

The celebrity chef’s Saga Hospitality Group and restaurants confirmed the heartbreaking news via Instagram.

“We are heartbroken to share that James Kent passed away unexpectedly earlier today,” the post read.

It added that Kent’s family, colleagues, and restaurants support each other and his restaurants would be closed on Father’s Day, in his honor.

Tributes are pouring in for the 45-year-old, with one reading: “A legendary chef. And an even more legendary New Yorker.”

Another adds: “Heartbroken. I’m speechless and in complete shock. You were truly so talented and incredible. Rest in peace, chef.”

“James was all of the best things,” a third person pens. “A loving father and husband, a risk taker, a great talent, a man of respect and optimism and tremendous warmth. You don’t see that a lot. If he ever hugged you, you knew he meant it.”

A fourth writes: “The most heartbreaking news. He was one of those people who make NY great – of course, his food, but his stories, his murals, his push to always do more and yet still always be the welcoming face you’d see when you walked into one of his gorgeous places.”

Kent made a name for himself with his successful restaurants in New York City’s Financial District.

Eater New York reports that the 45-year-old had been planning to open five additional restaurants in 2025 in partnership with Paris luxury department store Printemps on Wall Street.

Kent’s ventures have been critically praised, with Crown Shy’s menu described as ‘eclectic and creative’ by New York Times restaurant columnist Florence Fabricant.

In an interview with Bandit, the chef said: “I’ve walked into these fancy restaurants, and I don’t feel welcomed.

“So for me, making it a welcoming place lets you come in and let your down, chill, and be taken care of at the highest level possible.”

Bloomberg also reported that Kent’s spray-painted murals earned him the reputation of ‘a chef that’s also a wildly talented graffiti artist.’

Kent passed away on Saturday in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn.

A representative for Saga Hospitality Group told The Independent that the chef died from an acute health crisis.

The New York Times reports that Kent died from a heart attack, as said in a statement by his wife on Monday.

Kent was a husband and father of two.

Rest in peace.