"My heart is breaking": Fiance mourns death of Hell's Kitchen alum Jessica Vogel
News of her untimely passing was confirmed by Vogel's fiance, John Michael Keyser, who said that 'her heart gave out'.
TV chef and former contestant on Gordon Ramsay's Fox reality series 'Hell's Kitchen', Jessica Vogel has passed away at the age of 34, multiple reports confirmed on Wednesday. The New Jersey-native, who had appeared on the long-running culinary competition in its 12th season (in 2014), was reportedly suffering from colitis, a chronic inflammatory bowel disease, and was receiving due treatment for the same. On Monday morning, though, Vogel breathed her last at a hospital in southern New Jersey. News of her untimely passing was later confirmed to NorthJersey.com by Vogel's fiance, John Michael Keyser, who said that "her heart gave out".
"We were planning to open a restaurant together," Keyser dished to the website, mourning his fiancee's loss. "My heart is breaking." Apart from the popular reality series 'Hell's Kitchen', in her TV career, Vogel has also made appearances on other shows like Food Network's 'Cutthroat Kitchen'. An alum of the culinary school at Johnson & Wales in Denver, Vogel's first exposure to television, however, happened while she was still working with a California-based creperie and bakery (when she auditioned for the Fox series).
In the light of her recent passing, Beth Taylor-Murray, a co-contestant on 'Hell's Kitchen' said, "I loved her. She was a kind soul. We all have our issues and problems. I just want her to be at peace." Fair Lawn-based chef Nunn remembered her with kind words, saying: "She was really a talented chef who never reached her potential. It's a shame."
While the cause of Vogel's death has been attributed to the chronic disease, it has emerged that the chef had seemingly admitted to struggling with alcohol-related issues in the past. Allegedly, she had talked about her struggles in a Medium post last October which has since been taken down.
An obituary for Vogel described her as a “local legend for foodies in Bergen County,” adding that she had struggled with alcohol and drug use, and “recently committed to living a better life and had graduated from an inpatient rehabilitation program with hopes of regaining control of her life. Unfortunately, the damage done over the years was too great, and she died, like she lived, a fighter.”
The obituary added, “She wants the message left behind not to be ‘sex, drugs, and Foie Gras,’ but rather the importance of appreciating your talents, always working hard to improve, but to never forget that it is the loving heart that truly changes the world.”
Since the sad news, many on social media have also come forward to share their grief over Vogel's passing.
And Chef Manda Palomino added: "Thoughts and prayers to the friends and family of Chef Jessica Vogel. Rest in peace chef! #hkfamily #hellskitchen #jerseygirls"