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Young Chef Mourned

Houston food community mourns unexpected death of talented young chef

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Grant Gordon, Tony's, December 2012
Grant Gordon passed away unexpectedly Monday night.  Photo courtesy of Tony's

Update (Aug 29): The Harris County Medical Examiner's office has ruled that suicide is Grant Gordon's cause of death. At his funeral on August 28, rabbi David Lyon of Congregation Beth Israel told mourners that Gordon had been suffering from depression after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis over six months ago. The Edmont, the restaurant Gordon intended to open in Montrose, has been canceled. In his obituary, Gordon's family requests donations be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

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CultureMap has learned that former Tony's chef Grant Gordon passed away unexpectedly Monday night at his apartment. Gordon was 28. The cause of his death has not been determined.

The chef revealed last week that he had partnered with Paulie's owner Paul Petronella and Camerata sommelier David Keck on a new restaurant called The Edmont that was expected to open in 2016. 

The news of Gordon's death has shocked Houston's food community who knew Gordon for his outgoing personality, prodigious talent and commitment to excellence. The food world had been buzzing with news about The Edmont, which was expected to be a top restaurant given the talent of the three men at its core. 

A native Houstonian and Memorial High School grad, Gordon left Houston to attend the prestigious Culinary Institute of America. Upon his graduation in 2006, Gordon took a position at Cafe Boulud in New York City, where he was part of a team that earned a coveted three-star rating from the New York Times. From there he moved on to the two-star Michelin restaurant Cyrus in California, where he worked alongside fellow Houstonians Matt Marcus (Eatsie Boys) and Roy Shvartzapel (Common Bond).

Upon his return to Houston five years ago, Gordon accepted a position at Tony's, where he quickly rose through the ranks. By his 25th birthday, he had earned a four-star rating from Chronicle critic Alison Cook, who praised the way Gordon worked "with a discipline and assurance beyond his years." Under Gordon's direction, the consensus seemed to be that one of Houston's oldest and most well-regarded fine dining restaurants again had food that matched its service and atmosphere. Gordon's work at Tony's landed him on the Forbes magazine 30 under 30 list of rising stars in the food and beverage world.  

"It's very tragic. My thoughts and prayers are with his family," Tony's owner Tony Vallone tells CultureMap about Gordon's death. "It's a shock to everyone."

No information was immediately available about funeral services. CultureMap will update this article when Gordon's family releases any information on his passing. Our thoughts are with them, as well his many friends throughout the area. 

Update: The funeral will be held Thursday August 28 at 1 p.m. at Congregation Beth Israel 5600 North Braeswood Blvd. 

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