James Kent, N.Y.C. Chef of Saga and Crown Shy, Dead at 45: 'Heartbroken'

The top chef died on Saturday, June 15, PEOPLE can confirm

<p>Kris Connor/Getty</p> James Kent

Kris Connor/Getty

James Kent

James Kent, a renowned New York City chef and owner of Crown Shy, Overstory and Saga restaurants, has died. He was 45.

Kent’s death was confirmed to PEOPLE by his representative on Saturday, June 15. He is survived by his wife Kelly, son Gavin, 15, and daughter Avery, 13. His cause of death has not been shared.

The chef's passing was first announced in a joint post shared on Instagram by his Saga Hospitality Group and restaurants. “We are heartbroken to share that James Kent passed away unexpectedly earlier today,” a statement read.

“The Saga Hospitality Group family is focused on supporting each other and most importantly Kelly, Gavin and Avery as we grieve James’ loss," the statement continued, adding that Kent’s restaurants would be closed on June 16, which is also Father's Day.

“Celebrate Father’s Day with your loved ones,” the post concluded.

<p>Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty </p> Chef Kent died 'unexpectedly' on Saturday, June 15

Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty

Chef Kent died 'unexpectedly' on Saturday, June 15

Kent was born and raised in Lower Manhattan and led a series of successful restaurants in the Financial District area of N.Y.C. under his hospitality group, created in partnership with investment firm SC Holdings, according to Robb Report.

His death comes as he was preparing to open another restaurant in N.Y.C. at 360 Park Avenue South with Bravo’s Top Chef star, Danny Garcia, in a couple of months. He also had plans for five other restaurants in partnership with Paris luxury department store Printemps on Wall Street, Eater New York reported.

In his early career, Kent worked under the likes of top chefs Gordon Ramsay, David Bouley and Jean-Georges at their restaurants. He went on to become a chef de cuisine at Eleven Madison Par and then the executive chef of Nomad from 2013 to 2017.

Kent first opened his restaurant Crown Shy in 2019. It went on to achieve one Michelin star for its a la carte menu.

In 2021, Kent opened the sky bar Overstory, which is ranked in the top 50 bars in the world, before opening the two-Michelin starred Saga restaurant a few stories down in the same building.

<p>Kris Connor/Getty</p> Kent was a renowned chef and restaurant owner in New York City

Kris Connor/Getty

Kent was a renowned chef and restaurant owner in New York City

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

Speaking about his career and hometown legacy in one of his last interviews, Kent told Robb Report: “I just want to do iconic s---. When I walked into 70 Pine seven years ago, I was one person. It’s not like I was Daniel Boulud with a massive team, and I built all the systems — everything — that we needed to operate on this level.”

“If we want to be one of the best restaurants in the world,” he continued. “We need to be the best business in the world. There’s no other way to do the things that we want to do … I’m in this to see how far we can take it.”

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.