WATERTOWN, CT (WFSB) - A well-known Connecticut chef passed away from COVID-19 complications, according to those who knew him.
Jerry Reveron, 57, who most recently worked as the corporate regional executive chef for Flik Independent School Dining, had a popular restaurant in Bethlehem, CT.
He also worked at the Taft School in Watertown.
WPLR's Chaz & AJ broke the news on Tuesday, the day of his passing.
"He came on the air with us Friday, March 27 from his hospital bed," Chaz wrote on social media. "Although he was struggling to breathe and in pain to talk, in insisted on coming on to thank the nurses and tell us they were heroic."
Chaz touted Reveron's military service and culinary imagination.
"Jerry took great pride in having the cleanest kitchen on the planet and loved making his way around to chat up every table," he said. "I hope we are all taking this virus very seriously."
Just to give an idea into the type of the type of guy he was, Jerry Reveron actually called into a radio show, from his hospital room, because he wanted people to take this seriously, and he wanted to thank all nurses, who are going above and beyond while on the front line.
Those who knew Reveron say he was always at home in a kitchen.
“Loved to talk about food, so we instantly had that in common,” said Chaz in an interview with Channel 3 on Wednesday.
He said he met Reveron years ago.
“I used to live close to his restaurant so we became friends. He was just one of those guys that would come out and chat up every table,” Chaz said.
Known as Chef Jerry, Reveron graduated from Bullard-Havens Technical High School’s culinary program and began his career cooking while in the Navy, later moving on to country clubs, hotels, and restaurants.
In 2004 his opened the Woodward House in Bethlehem, and three years later was named Connecticut Restauranteur of the year by the state’s Restaurant Association.
Last month, Reveron tested positive for the coronavirus , and while struggling to breathe, Chaz said Reveron asked him if he could call into the radio show from his hospital bed.
“Just wanted to get on for a minute to make everybody aware, the seriousness of it and especially with those who have issues like myself, the elderly, but most of all, really, kudos to the health staff and the health care providers,” he said on the show.
The 57-year-old passed away on Tuesday.
“It was literally Jerry right to the end, to come on to make sure he was warning people to be safe and to praise the nurses,” Chaz said.
In a statement, his nephew Chris, who followed in his uncles footsteps in becoming chef, said Reveron was like a father to him – “He was the definition of a superhero to me and many others. His love of life, passion and drive to do good was something that’s hard to find these days, whether it was us cooking together at a special event or just spending family time, it was always full of laughter and great memories.”
That dedication to his family is no more evident, that the last conversation Chaz says he had with him, “He absolutely lit up when he talked about his daughter and in our final text exchange, from his hospital bed, right before then intubated him, the last thing he said to me, I hope to get see my daughter, again a real, real family man.”
Chaz also said as we continue to talk about staying home, washing your hands and see the number of cases, he says when it someone you know, it’s not just a number, and it becomes, as he described it, very real, very fast.