Kerry Simon has lost his battle with degenerative neurological disorder multiple system atrophy (MSA) at the age of 60.
Simon, who had been battling Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), passed away Friday morning in hospice care due to his condition recently worsening. He was reportedly confined to a wheelchair, not being able to walk or stand on his own.
Simon has been a long-time fixture on the Las Vegas culinary scene. Rolling Stone named Simon the “Rock n’ Roll chef.” He won Iron Chef America and was bless by the Dalai Lama. In 1989, Simon was hired by Ivana Trump as the executive chef of the Plaza Hotel’s Edwardian Room.
In 2001, he partnered with restaurant “Culinary Queen’ Elizabeth Blau and Peter Morton to open the Simon Kitchen and Bar at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, which officially opened its doors in 2002. It had been a hot spot for celebrities to wine and dine Simon’s cuisine creations before its closure. Simon went on to open Simon Restaurant & Lounge at Palms Place. He eventually expanded his restaurant businesses in Las Vegas, opening Carson Kitchen and KGB at Harrah’s.
Blau released this brief statement Friday:
You’re never prepared for something like this. We’re devastated that we lost such an amazing and kind man, but know he is in a better place. Our focus now is to continue this fight against MSA in Kerry’s honor.
Simon’s close friend, reporter and writer Robin Leach, tweeted this after learning of Simon’s passing:
With a heavy heart & sadness sorry to report that chef Kerry Simon passed away early this morning at the hospice after his long MSA battle.
Leach told us Simon finished working on a cookbook that will be released sometime soon.
Simon has had many amazing moments in his culinary career, yet has always found time to give back to the Las Vegas community. He’s lent support to many charitable causes and is missed by many.
Las Vegas entrepreneur and businessman George Maloof Jr. also released a statement on Kerry’s passing.
Maloof Jr. said:
Kerry Simon was a masterful chef. He was full of enthusiasm for the world. He was a fighter, but more than that, Kerry was a wonderful human being – and he was my friend. Today my heart is heavy but there is comfort in knowing that his personal battle is over – that he is at peace and that his spirit will live on through his restaurants and the work being done to fight MSA in his name at the Cleveland Clinic. May we all move forward in his honor carrying just a little piece of his energy, his passion and his love of life.
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman also paid respect to Kerry.
This is very sad for all of us. Kerry was a good friend, a consummate chef, an