Iron Chef star Kerry Simon has died at the age of 60 of multiple system atrophy, reports his longtime friend Robin Leach, in a column on Friday, Sept. 11 in the Las Vegas Sun.
Simon died early Friday morning after a valiant two-year battle with the degenerative neurological disease.
According to Leach, Simon died at a Las Vegas hospice surrounded by friends and two Tibetan monks, who chanted prayers at his bedside.
“We will always remember Kerry fondly,” Leach wrote in his column. “He was a gentle man who will be missed greatly. He was still young and handsome at 60 years of age. He didn’t smoke or drink alcohol, preferring his favorite juices regimen.”
Simon who was nicknamed the “Rock ‘n’ Roll chef” by Rolling Stone magazine won a 2005 episode of “Iron Chef.” He also owned several restaurants in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Atlantic City.
He got his start working for Ivana Trump running the Plaza Hotel’s Edwardian room and eventually worked with acclaimed chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
In a 2010 interview with Haute Living, Simon reflected on his career.
“One thing if you look at my career through the years, I have taken a lot of gambles, some which were not so great, some that were very great. I [am a] very searching, spiritual person so there is something that happens through everything I have done, whether it has been the lowest part of my career or the highest part of my career, that has some sort of relativeness to that.”