BREAKING NEWS —Much beloved chef Kerry Simon passed away today, a result of complications related to a severe and rare form of Parkinson's disease called MSA, multiple system atrophy. While the disease had confined the "Rock 'n' Roll Chef" to a wheelchair, he was still actively working on new projects, including a new gastropub in Henderson.
Friends, admirers and former colleagues had gathered earlier this week for a charity dinner at Elizabeth Blau's Made LV in Tivoli Village to honor the chef. Simon had been too ill to attend.
Brought to Las Vegas to open Jean-George Vongerichten’s Prime Steakhouse at the Bellagio, in 2002 Simon partnered with Blau and Peter Morton to launch Simon Kitchen & Bar at the Hard Rock Hotel, beginning a series of local ventures including Simon at Palms Place, KGB at Harrah's and Downtown's Carson's Kitchen.
UPDATED: Friends and colleagues close to Kerry Simon are beginning to share their thoughts.
Elizabeth Blau: "You’re never prepared for something like this. We’re devastated that we lost such an amazing and kind man, but know he is in a better place. Our focus now is to continue this fight against MSA in Kerry’s honor."
George Maloof Jr.: "Kerry Simon was a masterful chef, he was full of enthusiasm for the world, he was a fighter but more than that, Kerry was a wonderful human being - and he was my friend. Today my heart is heavy but there is comfort in knowing that his personal battle is over, that he is at peace and that his spirit will live on through his restaurants and the work being done to fight MSA in his name at the Cleveland Clinic. May we all move forward in his honor carrying just a little piece of his energy, his passion and his love of life."
Palms Casino Resort: "All of us at the Palms are deeply saddened by the passing of Kerry Simon who was a beloved part of the Palms family for many years. His passion, his creativity and his spirit made an indelible mark on our property and the entire Las Vegas culinary scene that will not soon be matched. Our thoughts and condolences are with his family."