On Friday, A Popular French Chef In The Region Succumbed To Cancer!

Cincinnati chef Jean-Robert de Cavel dies at 61 1

De Cavel’s career in the kitchen got its start in France. In 1993, he relocated to Cincinnati to take over the kitchen at La Maisonette, which at the time held the record for most consecutive years as a five-star restaurant in the United States. In addition to Table and Pigalle, he also created French Crust and Le Bar e Beouf in the greater Cincinnati area.

In celebration of de Cavel’s 60th birthday, the intersection of Seventh and Vine Streets in Cincinnati was renamed in his honour in 2017. Besides his wife Annette Pfund de Cavel, de Cavel also leaves behind their beloved daughter Leticia.

“Cincinnati has lost a wonderful, loving chef. Annette de Cavel says, “But my daughter and I will miss our husband and dad the most.No final decisions have been made regarding funeral services. The de Cavel family has asked to be given space and privacy at this time.

Who Was Jean-Robert De Cavel?

A native of France, Jean-Robert de Cavel entered the world on September 12, 1961. He attended the Lille, France location of the Le Feguide Culinary Institute.

When he was 32 years old, he made the move to Cincinnati to take over the kitchen at La Maisonette. A five-star establishment, La Maisonette achieved that status under his leadership from 1993 to 2002. In 2007, he received the Maîtres Cuisiniers de France title of “Master Chef.”

Who Was Jean-Robert De Cavel

He worked as the head chef at Jean-Robert at Pigall’s between the years 2002 and 2009, and later ran the restaurants Jean-Table, Robert’s Le Bar a Boeuf, and French Crust Cafe. After the unexpected death of their first child, Tatiana, he and his wife established the de Cavel Family SIDS Foundation to help other parents cope with the tragedy. To raise money and awareness, the foundation hosts Eat.Play.Give Friends and Family SIDS Brunch.

He has also been nominated for Best Chef by the James Beard Foundation three times in the Midwest and as a semifinalist for Best Chef in the Great Lakes Region on four separate occasions.


Cincinnati Chef Jean-Robert De Cavel Dies At 61

On Friday, the 61-year-old chef Jean-Robert de Cavel, a native of France who became a regional hero for revitalising Cincinnati’s fine dining scene, passed away.

At the age of 32, De Cavel moved to Cincinnati to work at The Maisonette, the city’s only Mobil 5-star-rated restaurant. Since then, he has established a number of upscale eateries like Table, Pigalls Le Bar a Boeuf, and French Crust Café & Bistro.

Cincinnati Chef Jean-Robert De Cavel Dies At 61

Since 2018, De Cavel had been fighting leiomyosarcoma, rare cancer that develops in the smooth muscles, but he never let it prevent him from working or dreaming up ideas for a new restaurant.

There is no cure for what ails me, “in May, de Cavel told The Enquirer. “Just have to keep my chin up and be resilient. Very optimistic, that’s me! Keep doing what you’re doing because it’s working, my doctors have told me. In no event should you ever give up?

De Cavel entered this world on September 12, 1961, in the French city of Roubaix. Prior to settling in Cincinnati in 1993, he worked as chef de cuisine at New York City’s La Regence and La Gauloise (after attending Le Feguide culinary school in Lille, France).

When asked about his time in Cincinnati, he said, “I did the same thing I would have done anywhere else, which is not try to make the city better, but being proud of what Cincinnati is.” This quote is from an interview he gave in 2021.

Everyone in de Cavel’s adopted hometown liked him. Last year, he was honoured by having the intersection of Seventh and Vine Streets in downtown Cincinnati renamed Jean Robert de Cavel Way, and this year, he was selected as one of the Great Living Cincinnatians for the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s 2021 class.


To which de Cavel replied, “I got very lucky without realising it, the support of everyone.” People took a liking to me right away, and I believe that’s because they saw something in me that they saw in themselves. Becoming more of an authentic version of myself was less of a struggle in Cincinnati than it was in New York.

De Cavel Is One Of The Most Celebrated Cooks In Charlotte’s Past

Jeff Ruby, a close friend and fellow restaurateur, said, “He’ll live on forever in this city because he raised the bar.” To paraphrase, “He became the model of success that everyone aspired to.”

Even though Ruby and de Cavel were rivals in the industry, Ruby claims that the two had a good working relationship and that de Cavel was able to bring out the best in every chef he worked with.

De Cavel Is One Of The Most Celebrated Cooks In Charlotte's Past

Ruby: “There’s an old saying that familiarity breeds contempt.” “In my opinion, respect is a byproduct of familiarity.”He was born in France, but at the age of 32 he relocated to Cincinnati and took over as chef de cuisine at the restaurant now occupied by Boca in the downtown area.

Chalk, Table, Pigalle, JeanRo, Pho Paris, Greenup Cafe, Twist, Lavomatic, French Crust, Le Bar e Beouf, Frenchie Fresh, and Restaurant L are just some of the restaurants that grew out of de Cavel’s culinary empire and contributed to Cincinnati’s ongoing restaurant renaissance.

A pioneer of Over-the-revitalization, Rhine’s Lavomatic was the first eatery to open on Vine Street after the neighbourhood was revitalised. Britney Ruby Miller, president and CEO of Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment, said, “He did so much for the city.”

Over the course of his career, de Cavel served up upscale, refined French cuisine, most recently at Restaurant L. But as his career progressed, he showed a growing fondness for bistro fare, and many of his later works reflected that.

Final Words

De Cavel, known as “Chef” among his peers in the hospitality industry, was devoted to his hometown and regularly volunteered his time for good causes. After the tragic loss of their first child, Tatiana, to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, de Cavel and his wife Annette Pfund de Cavel established the de Cavel Family SIDS Foundation. After a long illness, she passed away in 2002.

The annual Friends & Family brunch is now hosted by the foundation at Cincinnati State Technical & Community College’s Midwest Culinary Institute.


  • Karan Sirari

    I am an author and a public speaker. I was born in India and have travelled to many different countries. I have a masters in public communication from California University and I love to write about famous peoples from different industries.


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