32-year-old St. Paul chef dies after battling flu

A St. Paul restaurant is mourning the loss of one of its chefs after he passed away from the flu last week.

Executive Chef Kyle Bell of Forepaugh's Restaurant was only 32 years old. He had worked at the restaurant for more than five years.

"Overwhelmed. Shock,” said Forepaugh’s Assistant Manager Ben Bush. “I don't know that I've ever been so shocked by someone's passing."

Bush says Bell died unexpectedly at home while battling the flu early Friday morning. He says Bell was gifted, not only in creating delicious and imaginative food like one of his signature dishes - Asian pork sliders - but also in dealing with people.

"He was very gentle and taught me execution,” said Bush. “There is a nice way to get things done. I tried to do that because I saw him get results with kindness and love and he impacted me strongly that way."

From the pictures on his butcher block, Bush says you can tell Bell's thoughts were never far from his wife Sarah or their children three-year-old Stormy and three-month-old Maurice. In fact, Bush says the young chef spent his final moments with his kids.

"He's the kind of dad I want to be like,” said Bush. “I have three kids of my own and just the example he set. It’s one thing to talk about it, but it’s another to live it and he ended up dying."

For now, Bush says employees are burning candles in Bell's memory in hopes the light he became for the kitchen at Forepaugh's never goes out.

"He's gone and the world is worse off because of it,” said Bush. “Not just the culinary world or this restaurant. He was a good person."

According to the most recent flu report from the Minnesota Department of Health, 14 adults have died from the flu this season. However, the age of adults killed by the flu tends to trend older. So far this flu season, the median age of those who have died from the flu is 76.5 years old. So far, no children have died from the flu this season.

For GoFundMe information, click here.