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Top chefs pay tribute to Michelin-starred Jonray Sanchez, who passed away days before restaurant named one of UK's best

jonray sanchez
November 10, 2015
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Some of Britain's top chefs and foodies have paid tribute to one of their highly esteemed and respected Michelin-starred colleagues, Jonray Sanchez-Iglesias. The Bristol-based chef has passed away at the age of 32, just two days before his restaurant was named as one of the best in the UK.Gordon Ramsay took a moment to mark the sad news, writing on Twitter: "So talented and so young a rare gift. Our industry has sadly lost an incredible Chef. God bless Jonray. Prayers."

jonray sanchez
Michelin-starred chef Jonray Sanchez-Iglesias passed away on Friday

Food critic Jay Rayner also tweeted: "I heard this news yesterday morning and hoped it wasn't true. Jonray Sanchez of @Casamia in Bristol has died. "Chefs Adam Tucker and Josh Eggleton, a childhood friend of Jonray's, have also shared their sadness at the loss of the much-loved young man.

The sad news broke of the end of Jonray's four-year battle with melanoma on Monday, when his brother Peter – with whom he ran the Casamia restaurant in Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol – posted the family’s moving statement on Twitter.

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They said: "At the age of 32, Jonray achieved more than many of us could dream of accomplishing in a lifetime, not just throughout his incredible career as an extremely talented chef, but also in his personal life as a devoted husband and loving father of two beautiful girls, Olive and Bella. "Throughout the past four years Jonray's strength and bravery were unbelievable. No matter what challenges he faced Jonray would always fight back.

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Pictured: a dish at Jonray and brother Peter's Casamia restaurant

"Even after undergoing numerous surgeries and making countless visits to the oncology unit he was determined to head straight back to his team and guests, just to hear the words, 'check on chief'."His colleagues and customers would never have known what he was going through and that is the way he wanted it. He always put on a brave face and seldom complained during the four years since his diagnosis."

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Casamia in Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol was awarded a Michelin star in 2009

Speaking about the nod given on Sunday, they added: "Jonray's talent has been mostly recently recognised in the announcement made in the Sunday Times this weekend naming Casamia as the fourth best restaurant in the UK."This accolade is a testament to Jonray's dedication to our restaurant and industry over the years, an industry that he loved so much and considered himself lucky to be a part of."

Just days after Jonray's death, his and his brother's much-lauded restaurant – which gained a prestigious Michelin star in 2009 – was named by the Sunday Times as the fourth best in the country.

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