An Italian concept in NoDa with a notable beverage program
March 21, 2023
Chef Hannah Riley remembers her friend Chef Kendall Ross who tragically passed away this past weekend
by Hannah Riley
Saturday evening Chef Kendall Ross and his wife, Lily, were in a devastating car accident in Plaza Midwood. A drunk driver hit them from behind, causing Kendall to crash into a telephone pole. The accident tragically took his life on the scene.
The first time Kendall and I met, we sat down over a steak and bourbon to discuss each of our own personal growth outlooks. Kendall had big goals, and the perseverance to accomplish them. Over the years I had the privilege to get to know him better as he was dating one of my best friends. We would spend time together personally and professionally — always as friends. Countless times he would do me a favor without hesitation; he was such a generous person.
Kendall would light up a room with his warm smile. He was always ready with a joke or quick-witted ending to someone’s story. Kendall was well read and full of fun facts. One of my favorite memories is when he came to me and pitched us opening a ghost kitchen together, Mr. Beast burgers. He ordered burgers and brought over all of his spreadsheets and analytics to show the profitability potential of this endeavor.
This tenacity is what made him successful in his real estate dreams, from purchasing his first house and doing the renovations himself to building his first home with and for his wife Lily.
As a chef, Kendall worked alongside countless other chefs all over the country, honing his craft and learning from many talented people along the way. With all of his talent and experiences, he was consistently humble. As an entrepreneur, he purchased and flipped or turned his properties into income to work towards his goals.
As a friend, Kendall was fully engaged when he spent time with you. He was genuinely interested in getting to know each person in his life better and in a meaningful way. He was always willing to lend a hand and be there for you. He was goofy funny; you couldn’t help but smile when he was around. He was one of the most genuine and kind people I have had the pleasure of knowing. As a brother and uncle, he was caring and devoted.
As a son-in-law, he was loved as the son Neil and Susan didn’t have. He fit seamlessly into the family. He loved to cook alongside Susan, with their complementary cooking styles. He and Neil bonded over their similar personalities, interests, and silliness.
As a husband, he loved Lily unconditionally. He made sure she always had her favorite foods prepared gluten free.
He drove her to all of her favorite places. He was attentive to her needs and did everything to make sure she was comfortable. They traveled and explored new places — and, of course, new food.
Kendall will be forever missed by everyone who ever had the joy of knowing him. If you’d like to support his family, a fundraiser is being held online.