Chef Michael D'ennery RIP

I recently received the sad news that Chef Michael D’ennery passed away on Sunday March 15.

Many of us remember Chef Michael D’ennery when he was creating memorable dinners throughout central New Jersey. I remember him for that and more.

A close friend of ours is a close friend of Michael’s mother. Through them, we met Michael and his wife Kitty several years ago. We all (except for Michael, who was on the job) had a wonderful dinner at the restaurant he was involved with at the time in Keyport, and Michael joined us at table after he’d prepared the last meal of the night. I liked him instantly. In spite of the age difference, we had a lot in common. Dinner was sensational. We saw him once again shortly after that.

A relatively short time later, Michael left that venue and we lost track of his whereabouts. We learned that he had abandoned the high pressure world of restaurants and had become a private chef.

Later we learned that the reason for the career change was health related. This development was delivered to us by Michael first-hand when we saw him a few weeks ago at D’Artagnan’s Cassoulet Wars annual event in NYC. He was there as the guest of our friend, who we invite as our regular guest when we attend every year. It was great seeing him and catching up, it had been many years, and we learned that the reason he gave up restaurants was that as a relatively young man, he had developed a cardiac condition that forced him out. In addition to modifying his line of work, he’s become an avid cyclist, which was a passion we shared. The four of us had a great time that night, sampling cassoulet from the 30 or so stations, and drinking lots of Cahors, Minervois and Armanac. We promised we’d reconvene in 2021, if not sooner.

But tonight I received the sad and shocking news that while on a ride this past Sunday, Michael suffered a fatal heart attack. I’m still processing this.

Michael was immensely talented. He was also warm, funny and very personable, and despite his gifts, completely without pretense. But for the distance and his crazy schedule, we would have seen more of each other. Like us, he and Kitty loved to garden. When we saw each other in February, he and I talked about getting together for a bike ride. And of course we love food. I’m devastated, and feel an immense and irreplaceable sense of loss. RiP, Michael.

Charlie

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Was Michael the chef from Trinity?

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Yes

We debated over music heroes several times. Def miss his Trinity kitchen.

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This is so sad. Thanks for letting us know, Charlie. Thanks to @seal I got to eat some of his wonderful food at our porchetta feast here in AP a few years ago, and I’ve been following him on IG and exchanging quick niceties on occasion for a while now. He was a really lovely and talented man. Very sad.

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I too am saddened and stunned by Mike’s untimely passing.

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Very saddened to see this. Worked with Chef Mike a dozen or so years ago to host a party at Trinity that we still talk about. RIP

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So sad! A very talented chef. Trinity was our favorite restaurant. RIP Michael.

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Thank you for the post. RIP Mike, I am blessed to have known you and your creations.

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RIP while I never actually met him, I was scheduled on two occasions to meet him as well as someone else I was looking forward to meeting, our old friend @MZ. Unfortunately those two scheduled meetings fell through and sadly it seems I’ll never meet either of these gentlemen. RIP Chef Mike - you left a hell of an impression on the local dining scene. God bless your family.

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MZ? The infamous outspoken APP boards poster? If so, small world.

I do not know if he is one in the same. We “met” (cyberly) on Chowhound and he was originally here for the first year…then he just stopped posting. We emailed each other privately over the years and he stopped responding to emails too, this must be 4+ years ago? Has the APP MZ posted recently?

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That’s him…I believe his handle was “Chef MD.”

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It was. I remember laughing with him when I told him I thought he was both a doctor and a chef.

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I thought MZ = MGZ on Chowhound but I could be mistaken. As I recall, MGZ/MZ was a lawyer who lived in Manasquan. Tagging @NotJrvedivici to check.

I thought Mike was ChefMD on here as well. He was definitely not MZ.

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You are correct to the best of my knowledge. MZ (here) /MGZ (Chow) was a member and a personal friend and large fan of Chef Mike. Chef Mike was ChefMD two different people but friends.

Yes, Mike I think was ChefMD, but Bob’s post also referred to @MZ. It is very possible I am confused though.

See my above response you are correct! MGZ was trying to hook Mike and I up for a joint venture on the diner in downtown Manasquan up the block from Committed Pig. He wanted to do something similar to Toast in Red Bank a brunch focused establishment.

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I do believe its the same person.

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