Search narrows for award-winning chef who vanished on NYE
Published Tuesday, January 8, 2013 5:57PM EST
Police are following a number of leads on a missing Ontario chef who was last seen checking out of a downtown Toronto hotel on New Year’s Eve.
Jonathan Gushue, an award-winning chef based out of Cambridge, Ont., was last seen checking out of Toronto’s Park Hyatt Hotel. His cellphone was found at the hotel and his car has also been located.
Gushue has disappeared for a day or two in the past, but never for this long, said police.
The 41-year-old chef is married and has three children.
Friends said Gushue, who has helped Cambridge’s Langdon Hall Country House Hotel & Spa achieve culinary fame, has been known to handle pressure and scrutiny well.
“There’s just a lot of intense focus on him, on his crew, on the kitchen and the staff. So it is pressure, but Jonathan over the past few years that I’ve known him has held up remarkably well and continues to do his job really well,” food writer Andrew Coppolino said.
“I just hope this is a fluky thing that’s going to sort itself out and everything will be fine.”
Langdon Hall has been closed for a few days for maintenance. Chef de cuisine David Sider is expected to open the restaurant’s kitchen on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, concern for the missing chef is growing in the St. John’s culinary community.
Gushue, who originally hails from St. John’s, N.L., has many friends and former colleagues in the city. They say they’re concerned for his well-being.
“We worked together for a few days and the thought that he’s kind of disappeared, it upsets me a lot,” said friend and former colleague Todd Perrin.
Perrin worked with Gushue at Langdon Hall less than two months ago.
Food critic Karl Wells has been following Gushue’s career for years and said the entire case just doesn’t seem to make sense.
“Well it’s certainly not the Jonathan I know,” Wells said. “He’s very level-headed, very professional, a very together-kind of guy. Nothing ever goes to his head.”
Investigators said they have no reason to suspect foul play and don’t believe Gushue is in danger.
Gushue is described as white with short dark hair and blue eyes. He is around five feet 10 inches tall and weighs around 180 pounds.
Anyone with any information about the case is asked to contact Waterloo Regional Police at 519-650-8500 ext. 2299.
With a report from CTV Kitchener’s David Imrie and CTV Atlantic’s Pam Parsons