Michelin-Starred Chef James Kent Passes Away, Saga Hospitality Group Announces

Chef Kent Is Remembered for His Culinary Excellence and Charity Work

The Saga Hospitality Group announced the death of Michelin-starred chef James Kent on June 15 with great sadness on its Instagram. Chef Kent is survived by his wife, Kelly, son Gavin, and daughter Avery. 

Chef Kent was the creative mind behind Pacific Park’s newest food destination, Snackville, at the Santa Monica Pier. 

The statement said, “We are heartbroken to share that James Kent passed away unexpectedly earlier today. The Saga Hospitality Group family is focused on supporting each other and, most importantly, Kelly, Gavin, and Avery as we grieve James’ loss.”

Jeff Klocke, General Manager at Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier, said in an emailed statement, “It is with profound sadness and a heavy heart that we acknowledge the sudden passing of our partner and friend, Chef James Kent. He was a valued member of our Pacific Park team and contributed immensely to our culinary vision of the amusement park. We extend our deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.”

James Kent was executive chef and owner of Crown Shy and Saga restaurants, both located in the landmark Art Deco building at 70 Pine Street in New York’s Financial District. Crown Shy, the first of those restaurants, opened in March 2019. Just six months later, the restaurant was awarded a Michelin star. Saga, a fine-dining restaurant in the tiered spire of the building, opened in August of 2021. In October 2022, Saga was awarded two Michelin stars. One floor above Saga is Overstory, a cocktail bar ranked 17 on the list of the World’s 50 Best Bars.

Kent was an active supporter of a number of charities working to eradicate childhood hunger in New York City, including No Kid Hungry and ReThink Food, for which he sits on the Chef’s Council. Kent has twice co-chaired the annual Chef’s Benefit dinner for Cookies for Kids Cancer, a nationally recognized organization that provides funding for pediatric cancer research. He was a mentor for the Ment’Or organization devoted to inspiring culinary excellence in young professionals and preserving the traditions and quality of cuisine in America.

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