Vancouver Food Legend Nathan Fong Has Died

It is with deep sadness that I write these words, and they aren’t coming easy in these dark days. Veteran chef and food/travel journalist Nathan Fong has died. I can think of no one who loved and nurtured British Columbia’s food scene more than Nathan. His enthusiasm for this city and its culinary identity was amplified by a big heart and a tremendous capacity to help others both professionally and personally. His inner spark, laugh, cheekiness, wit and collegial joie de vivre were incredibly genuine, making him one of the best dining companions that anyone could ever hope for. He will be remembered as a wonderfully kind and compassionate human being, and BC is forever the lesser without him. Sending love and deepest sympathies to his husband, Michel.

There are 15 comments

  1. This is devastating news. So very sad. He truly was a giant. His advocacy for the culinary world was unmatched. Godspeed Nathan.

  2. Thanks for your tribute, Andrew. I had the pleasure of editing Nathan’s travel stories for Taste & Travel Magazine, for, well… years. Including the feature piece on revisiting Cuba he wrote for the spring issue. That mag went to press 4 days ago, with his story on the cover. I had the further pleasure of meeting Nathan in the flesh, in Ottawa, at the Canadian Culinary Championships – what a lovely guy. My condolences to his family, friends, and the BC culinary community.

  3. I am devastated! I knew Nathan when we were in college, and have been following his career through the years. He was a delightful and wonderful man! My sincerest condolences to Nathan’s family. He was a rare gem!

  4. I’m still in shock. Nathan was just one of those people you assumed would always be around. I had the pleasure of being on his radio show last month, talking about wine festival with three other people. He was as natural on air as he was in person, and gently shepherded us through the hour with typical charm and wit. I always got a kick out of seeing him at events. If you asked him how things were he would usually sigh and tell you how exhausted he was, having just returned from somewhere afar the previous day. But, again, it wasn’t to name drop, just the real Nathan being who he was. He did travel extensively—and worked incredibly hard, whether for his own career, or as an ardent supporter of worthy causes, such as the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation, to which he contributed so much. RIP Nathan. We will truly miss your unabashed passion and panache. T xx

  5. So saddened by this News. I remember him for his food and great parties but also for his beautiful voice ( he toured with the BC Boys Choir)… I meet him in the late 70’s, such great memories, he was at my wedding, sang at my sons Christening and was such a good friend. We last saw each other at a Madonna concert.
    Such a talented guy, so honoured and proud to have known him.
    You touched so many hearts and will be missed by so many.
    My sincerest condolences to his family.

  6. I am shocked and saddened to hear of Nathan’s sudden passing. I first knew him as a very young boy helping out in his parents’ market on the corner of 25th and Marine in West Vancouver. Subsequently he became a very valuable and knowledgeable member of my sales staff at Swedish Jeweler in Park Royal. He appreciated and loved the beautiful pieces handcrafted by our jewelers and he developed a very large and loyal personal clientele. We were a closely knit company and Nathan often catered parties and special events for us. He was with us for many years but finally he could no longer ignore his true calling, which embraced all aspects of the food business. We were all very proud of his amazing national and international successes – his sparkling personality will be sadly missed all around the world, but I am certain he is now a permanent star in the universe. Keep shining brightly for us all, Nathan Helen

  7. I had the honour to share the Orpheum stage with Nathan over fourty years ago, in a duet of “There’s No Business Like Show Business”. Will remember it always, along with our talks about how he wanted to pursue his culinary dreams rather than what was expected. So glad he lived his best life.

  8. I never met Nathan Fong, but his Spiced Brown Butter Carrots with Sage and Dried Cranberries is one of my favorite recipes at Christmas time. Sincere condolences to his husband, family and friends.

  9. Like Helen Stewart, I remember Nathan from childhood when he was helping his parents, Robert and Edna, at the Dundarave IGA. My mom had the Seaview Coffee Shop in Libby’s Pharmacy next door, so we saw each other often. I remember 12th Night parties at the Baker’s and that, even as a young man, he had a room filling personality. I have followed his life and career with interest with regular reports from mutual friends.
    He left his mark and will be missed.

  10. Goodbye to my very special, wonderful friend. Your kindness and generosity was the catalyst to put Dr. Peter’s legacy out there – with the creation of the annual Passion Event – popularly known as the BEST small gala in the city. You raised over $2,000,000. over the years. You made a huge difference in so many lives. You will always be loved by so many.
    May you Rest In Peace.
    My sympathy to his lovely Mother, Edna. The love you and Nathan shared was an example for everyone. Know how loved your son was by everyone lucky enough to know him.
    With much love and sympathy to Edna and your family.
    Bob & Shirley Jepson-Young (Dr. Peter’s parents)

  11. So sorry to hear this! Condolences to family and friends. He was my go to food stylist on all the food commercials I produced in Vancouver. Always beautiful results and lots of laughs.

  12. Leave it to Nathan to take self isolation to the extreme!
    I had the pleasure and good fortune to work with him dozens of times over the years. In fact if Nathan was unavailable the job would wait til he was. Then our “little brown boy” ( not sure if he ever really liked that nickname!) would come in the studio with a fabulous tan and a big beautiful smile. He could have moonlighted as a lighthouse with that smile.
    His work standards and ethics were impeccable and he was always a joy to spend the day with. I’m so saddened to know he isn’t around but so happy that he was.
    Remember his big old smile shining down on us downtown from a giant photo on the side of a college? Even now thinking about him makes me smile.
    God Bless you Nathan. The world was a better place because you were in it with us. You’ll be remembered forever fondly.

  13. I first met Nathan in the ballet world, Me on a Ballet board, and he was a dancer. Then we met again when I worked out at Sutton Place Hotel gym, A group of us had great friendship! Nathan would arrive, full of twinkly smiles and so much energy, Checked out all we were doing especially me on the bike, He would proceed to instruct me to add another 30 mins! We would all laugh. What fun he was to be around, Enthusiastic and inspiring.
    So sad that we have lost him. Who could imagine that he would not be here to Inspire us through these hideous times.

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