Much-loved Vancouver chef Owen Lightly passed away last night, a year after he was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer. Raised on Gabriola island, Owen Lightly began his career at the much-missed Aurora Bistro working under Chef Jeff Van Geest. Later in his career he moved to West to work with Chef David Hawksworth, and later with James Walt at Araxi before going on to create Butter on the Endive with Naomi. In a piece for Eater Vancouver published in October 2013, Lightly found elements of positivity in his diagnosis, writing an appreciation for his support network and professing hope to return to the kitchen soon.
In full, a statement from the family: "Owen Lightly passed away quietly at Vancouver General Hospital at 7:20PM on Thursday, May 29, 2014. He lived a life full of gratitude and generosity as a chef, partner, and friend. Owen's writings have impacted a generation of cooks and his cooking sparked a movement of convivial dining and collaboration among chefs, artists and artisans.
Owen never realized the impact his stories and carefully curated experiences had on the food scene in Vancouver. He never intended to make a mark; he was simply generous with his life experience and love of food, providing an inside look into the very private life of a cook and human being. His partner, Naomi, and his family thank you for the sincere love and support you offered while Owen fought so hard to beat cancer. If you wish to send letters of support and stories about Owen to the family, please email them to Naomi."
More information about a memorial to come; in the meantime, feel free to share your memories about Lightly in the comments.
· All Previous Owen Lightly Coverage [EVAN]