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Kerry Glen Simon


1955 - 2015 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Kerry Glen Simon Obituary
June 17, 1955 - September 11, 2015 Kerry Simon. Kerry Glen Simon of Las Vegas passed away peacefully on September 11, 2015, with his brothers by his side, after a long battle with multiple systems atrophy (MSA), a rare form of Parkinson's disease. Born in Philadelphia, Kerry was raised in Seattle prior to the family settling outside of Chicago. Kerry's culinary passion and curiosity was sparked as he experimented preparing recipes from a Julia Child cookbook after working shifts, flipping pizzas at Little Caesar's alongside friend and co-worker Bill Murray. Working hard, Kerry received a scholarship to attend the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. Upon graduation, Kerry worked under such culinary luminaries as Jean-Jacque Rachou, Andre Soltner and Jean-Georges Vongerichten. But it was at Donald and Ivana Trump's New York Plaza Hotel, in the Edwardian Room kitchen, that the Chef first achieved his own fame thanks to the countless celebrities he served at his private table inside his kitchen. It was a phenomenon; Rock 'n' Roll royalty loved Kerry's food. This caught the attention of Rolling Stone magazine and in 1991 they bestowed on Kerry the title of "The Rock 'n' Roll Chef". His Rock Star image and movie star good looks along with an A-list of musicians, celebrities and close friends earned him his illustrious nickname. After globe-trotting to further his culinary education and achieve his lifelong dreams, Kerry opened a trio of successful restaurants located in Miami; Blue Star, Starfish and Max's. Returning to work alongside his mentor Vongerichten, they explored and expanded restaurants worldwide, eventually landing the duo State side with their first restaurant and partnership project, Bellagio's Prime Steakhouse. Kerry then went on to open dozens of restaurants throughout the U.S. and as far away as the Dominican Republic; all reflecting his unique style and twist on comfort food. Simon's Kitchen locations in The Hard Rock, in partnership with Elizabeth Blau, and later Palms Place became the most popular go-to places in Las Vegas among rock and pop stars, actors and other celebrities. Simon L.A. drew a similar crowd in Los Angeles. Kerry's remaining Las Vegas restaurant, Carson Kitchen in partnership with Cory Harwell and Simon Hospitality; a partnership with Tony Hsieh's Downtown Project, has won numerous awards as has Kerry's other establishments and has helped redefine the downtown dining scene. Still running strong are Chuck's, a Kerry Simon Kitchen in Chicago operated by Brother Chef Scott Simon, Simon Kitchen + Bar in Palm Springs, and Simon Mansion & Supper Club in the Dominican Republic. Kerry's rock star legacy will live on through these venues. A music fan and accomplished guitarist, Kerry was a mainstay backstage at concerts, occasionally joining his superstar friends on stage. In 2007, Led Zeppelin flew Kerry to London to cater their much anticipated reunion concert. Kerry was a longtime supporter of many local charities, including the Three Square Food Bank and Keep Memory Alive, which benefits the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. Following his diagnosis, he re-doubled his efforts, and co-founded a fund called Fight MSA to benefit Keep Memory Alive. A February 2014 all-star benefit dinner and concert raised over half a million dollars for that fund. Kerry is survived by his brothers Glen, Doug, Scott and nieces, Meg Santoro and Sophie Sue Simon. A memorial celebrating the life of Kerry Simon, Chef, friend and one of the kindest human beings in the world is planned for October 18th, 2015 in Las Vegas. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Kerry Simon Fight MSA fund at Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. http://www.keepmemoryalive.org/ways_to_contribute/opportunities_to_give/donate
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Sept. 19 to Sept. 20, 2015
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