The Devastating Death Of Renowned Chef Michael Ginor

The food world was shocked earlier this week when it was confirmed that chef Michael Ginor had died (via US Day News). Ginor was an award-winning chef, writer, and restaurateur best known for launching Hudson Valley Foie Gras and the Long Island restaurant Lola. Long Island Press says he passed while competing in the Ironman cooking competition in Israel.

According to his Hudson Valley Foie Gras bio, Ginor was born in Seattle, Washington to his Israeli expatriate parents. Westchester Business Journal says Ginor lived in Israel for a period during his youth, though he would attend higher education in the United States. Ginor would receive his bachelor's degree from Brandeis University before going on to earn a master's degree from New York University.

Surprisingly, Ginor did not begin his career in the food world. US Day News reports that Ginor's first job after college was with David Lerner Associates on Wall Street. He would become senior vice president before leaving the company after four years. From there, Ginor chose to return to Israel to serve in the defense forces. And, during his time there, he would discover Israeli cuisine, along with the production methods for high-quality foie gras that would shape his future endeavors.

Michael Ginor was a Foie Gras innovator

When Ginor would return to the United States, he would start Hudson Valley Foie Gras, a farm in New York state that produced the controversial fatty livers from ducks and geese. Throughout its operations, Hudson Valley won numerous awards and accolades for its fine product. In 2015, when Ginor's Long Island restaurant Lola reopened with a Middle Eastern and North African theme, the Foie Gras from Ginor's Hudson Valley operation was one of the rare holdouts. The New York Times reviewer Joanne Starkey proclaimed, "I've never tasted better foie gras than the melt-in-your-mouth version here."

The Hawaii Food and Wine Festival writes that Ginor was also an accomplished writer. During his long career, he was a regular contributor to publications like Food Arts Magazine, James Beard Magazine, Singapore's Cuisine Scene, Art Culinaire, Coffee & Cuisine, and Great Britain's Great Hospitality.

Ginor was a philanthropist and advocate as well. Long Island Press says that he was a regular donor to City Harvest, Autism Speaks, and the Anthony Spinazzola Foundation.

"Michael will be remembered as a generous and passionate, fine-food artist who had a keen sense for business," said friend and Lola co-owner Lenny Messina.