RIP Anthony Sedlak, Canadian Celebrity Chef

I know that life and death really don’t care about how old you are, but I can’t help feeling that Canadian Celebrity chef Anthony Sedlak died too young at the tender age of 29. He got his start in cooking by accident; he wanted to snowboard for free, and the easiest way to do that was to get a job at the restaurant at Grouse Mountain. As a busboy, he liked what he saw in the kitchen and worked towards becoming a chef. A series of sous-chef jobs including one at London’s La Trompette led him to Food Network Canada’s Superstar Chef Challenge in 2005, which he won, landing him his first Food Network show, The Main.

The Main was one of those Food Network shows that was both fun to watch and still useful. It was about main dishes for meals, and none of the dishes he showcased were out of the reach of anyone with even the most basic of kitchen skills. He delivered his message simply and very enthusiastically, with a couple of “I grew up in Vangroovy” trademarks: a west coast accent and a tendency? to? uptalk? I’m one of those people who really believes that when choosing a career, you really have to follow your passion, and watching The Main, it’s clearly evident that Sedlak did just that.

In addition to his TV shows, he’d been busy working on his restaurant, The American Cheesesteak Co., which has some great reviews and some really good-looking food. I’ll have to check it out the next time I’m down Vancouver way. He’d also been in Toronto for the past little while, revamping the menus for the Don Valley Hotel and Suites.

He was a slightly tubby when he got his start on The Main, but in the past couple of years, he’d become more fit after discovering a passion for cycling and lost a fair bit of weight in the process. This and his youth make it a little more surprising that he died on Friday. The reports say that he had an undiagnosed medical condition, but no specifics have been given out as of this writing.

Requiescat in pace, Mr. Sedlak.

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