Celebrity chef Anthony Sedlak remembered
Anthony Sedlak, celebrated chef and driving creative force behind Vancouver restaurant, The American Cheesesteak Co., died suddenly at the age of 29 of an undiagnosed medical condition, his family said in a statement released Monday. His body was found in his North Vancouver apartment Friday evening.
One of Canada’s most vibrant and rising culinary stars, Sedlak leaves a legacy of achievements and inspiration.
“We are extremely saddened by Anthony’s passing,” said Andy Eng, co-owner of The American Cheesesteak Co., in a statement. “He was a great chef, whose passion for food was inspiring. He literally nourished us and warmed our hearts. He left an unforgettable mark on the culinary world, but most importantly, he was an incredible person and a great friend. Anthony will be deeply missed.”
“You just let Anthony be Anthony,” said John Catucci, host of the Food Network’s You Gotta Eat Here, in an interview with WE in May of this year. “He’s such a great spirit. You can tell the energy when you walk through the door. He’s passionate about food but he doesn’t make you feel bad about not knowing everything.”
That approachability is among the reasons friends and fans of Sedlak, one of the Food Network’s most popular chefs, are mourning his loss and paying tribute on social media.
“RIP Anthony Sedlak. My heart breaks today and the culinary world will not be the same without you,” wrote food blogger Dottie Wieclawska on Facebook.
The American Cheesesteak Co., which opened in Vancouver in October 2011, was Sedlak’s much-heralded return to his West Coast roots, offering a gourmet take on one of his favourite regional dishes — the Philly Cheesesteak.
He had already established himself as one of Canada’s brightest culinary talents, after winning Food Network’s Superstar Chef Challenge in 2006, hosting four seasons of the series The Main, and writing a best-selling cookbook.
Sedlak went on to be involved in two television series, Family Cook Off (Food Network) and Million Dollar Neighbourhood (OWN), and he recently re-launched the menus for the Toronto Don Valley Hotel and Suites.
Sedlak’s personal motto, often appearing in notes he signed for fans, is being reflected upon for comfort in his passing:
“Bask in life. You are here. You are awesome.”