I've spent the past few days hoping that the news I'd heard wasn't true, but my heart sank this afternoon when I saw that the StarTribune published Jon Radle's obituary. Radle, who was 30, started his career as a teenage busboy at Perkins and worked at several notable restaurants (Bayport Cookery, Corner Table, Auriga, La Belle Vie, and more) before taking the reins at the Grand Cafe in 2007. Under Radle's leadership, the Grand Cafe kitchen impressed many a patron and critic, including, very much so, this one. His talent and passion will be greatly missed by the restaurant community, and his loss felt deeply by family and friends.
Grand Cafe owners Mary and Dan Hunter posted a lovely eulogy on their Facebook page:
The Grand Café is deeply saddened to share the news of the unexpected death of our executive chef, Jon Radle.
Jon's unpretentious style and enthusiastic love of food and cooking infused the café with a warm and welcoming air. An award-winning chef, Jon was modest and hardworking. He had no taste for the role of celebrity. His graceful leadership set the tone at the café making it an intimate community working together. Jon was an integral part of this community and family. He will be deeply missed.
Grand Café will be closed until Friday, April 23. It will reopen for business with associate chef Ben Pichler at the helm. We are very grateful for the unwavering support of Ben and all of the staff at the Café during this difficult time.
Sincerely, Mary and Dan Hunter