Jessica Vogel, a chef who competed on Season 12 of “Hell’s Kitchen,” has died at age 34.
Vogel, of New Jersey, died after her “heart gave out” while receiving treatment for colitis at a hospital, Vogel’s fiance, John Michael Keyser, told NorthJersey.com on July 30.
“We were planning to open a restaurant together,” Keyser told the news website. “My heart is breaking.”
Vogel, who studied at Johnson & Wales, auditioned for the Gordon Ramsay cooking program while working at a bakery in California, NorthJersey.com reported.
“She knew more about the Bergen County dining scene than just about anyone,” chef Christine Nunn told NorthJersey.com of Vogel. “She was really a talented chef who never reached her potential. It’s a shame.”
Vogel worked for Nunn at Grange in Westwood and at Picnic on the Square.
In an obituary, Vogel was described as “fearless when it came to work,” and it added that she never backed “down from a challenge.”
“In these difficult times, there is immense pressure on young people to stand out in a world where the intimate details of our lives are made public in blogs and on Facebook. This took a toll on Jessica and over the years; she would escape to drugs and alcohol,” the obituary said.
It continued: “She recently committed to living a better life and had graduated from an in-patient rehabilitation program with hopes of regaining control of her life. Unfortunately, the damage done over the years was too great, and she died, like she lived, a fighter.”
According to the obituary, she left behind a message about “the importance of appreciating your talents, always working hard to improve, but to never forget that it is the loving heart that truly changes the world.”
Vogel leaves behind her mother, a sister, and her father.