Calgary chef killed in highway crash en route to visit local farm

Aug 31 2016, 10:23 pm

Local chef Jonathan Sobol of Starbelly restaurant has been identified as one of the two dead in a multi-vehicle car crash outside the city Tuesday morning.

Sobol, 33, was north of the city in Irricana to pay a visit to a local farm. The three-vehicle crash took place at Highway 9 and Township Road 270.

Starbelly, located in Southeast Calgary, is known for their elegant but approachable farm-to-table cuisine.

“Chef Jonathan Sobol’s passion for locally sourced ingredients and home-style cooking is reflected through an ever-changing menu of seasonally inspired dishes. We work closely with local farms and producers, who provide us with lovingly grown ingredients to build every dish,” notes Starbelly’s website.

On Wednesday, Starbelly’s Alex Fraser issued a statement about Sobol’s death:

On the morning of August 30, 2016, we lost a dear friend and extraordinary talent, Chef Jonathan Sobol. Jonathan was involved in a highway car accident on the outskirts of the city while visiting a local farm. The collision took his life immediately. We express our deepest condolences to the Sobol family at this very difficult time.

Jonathan was deeply committed to his community using his many talents to educate and support children and youth. His tireless work with the Alberta Children’s Hospital, South Health Campus, and Haysboro School touched many lives. He was an advocate for supporting local farmers and producers, a passion that could be found both in and out of the kitchen.

In lieu of this tragic and sudden loss to the Starbelly family, the restaurant will be closed on August 31. In honor of Jonathan and all that he brought to the restaurant and to the Calgary community, Starbelly will re-open with regular business hours on September 1.
We have experienced such a great loss but his memory will live on through the culinary art he created for so many Calgarians.

Customers, locals, and food lovers alike have been sharing their memories of Sobol and their grief on the restaurant’s various social media channels. Among the chef’s prior culinary credits was working with Janice Beaton at her FARM restaurant on 17th Avenue.

The crash also took the life of another man, and three others were injured. The cause of the collision remains under investigation.