The Tragic 2020 Death Of Beloved Restaurateur Gray Kunz

Gray Kunz, a stalwart of the restaurant sector and a beacon of innovative fine dining, tragically passed away in 2020. When he departed, he left a legacy of accomplishment behind.

Kunz was born in 1955 in Singapore but filled his first significant position in Switzerland, churning out what they called "Cuisine Spontanée" or spontaneous cuisine at Frédy Girardét's restaurant. Kunz's tenure at the establishment lasted five years before he started working for Plume in Hong Kong. The main reason for this decision was to learn about Asian restaurants and their cuisine, per Tatler. His next move was to New York, where he would draw on his background in French cooking and fuse it with what he had learned in Asia, impressing chefs and patrons alike. The platform for these performances was a restaurant called Lespinasse, which he helped open in 1991 (per Grub Street) and contributed to for eight years before moving abroad again. 

Then, in 1999, he tried to open a restaurant stateside and failed twice for reasons beyond his control, per New York Post. The second foiled attempt was because an aneurysm got the better of his would-be landlord. Little did any one know, it would be his last such endeavor.

Gray Kunz Untimely Departure

Gray Kunz was a statement of rectitude in his trade and telegraphed the same idea about his lifestyle. In an interview with Bernice Chan he spoke about the importance of his health to his work, "You have to have a clear head, with a clean lifestyle. I'm 62 but I feel like I'm 30. This kind of energy you cannot fake. I feel fortunate and blessed." This conversation took place in 2017 (via the Post Magazine).

In 2020, a mere three years afterward, Eater reported that the food celeb had died – Kunz had succumbed to a stroke, according to The New York Times. "It is with the greatest sadness that we have to announce the passing of the great Chef Gray Kunz," read a post on his Instagram page a day after the tragedy became known to the news networks.

The general theme of responses to the announcement was regret and remorse, and one user summed up the sentiments to the post in his comment, "He is a great loss to the culinary world and all the people who know him. May his soul rest in peace."