Missing Head Chef of Luxurious New York Restaurant Found Dead in Queens Hostel
The head chef of a luxurious New York City restaurant was tragically found dead on Wednesday, just two days after he was reported missing.
Andrea Zamperoni was discovered by authorities inside the Kamway Lodge & Tavern in Elmhurst, Queens, the New York Police Department’s Deputy Commissioner of Public Information tells PEOPLE.
Zamperoni, 33, worked as the head chef at the Cipriani Dolci restaurant in Grand Central Terminal for more than a year, but was reported missing on Monday after he failed to show up for his shift at the fancy eatery, NBC 4 New York reports.
The NYPD tells PEOPLE that Zamperoni was last seen at his Flushing residence on Monday around noon.
However, his mother who lives in Italy sensed something was wrong one day earlier when Zamperoni missed their daily phone call, according to NBC 4.
One of Zamperoni’s coworkers also echoed his mother’s sentiments and noted to the local outlet that the chef had not unexpectedly missed a day of work in over a decade.
“A good friend, family member, coworker is now gone and missing, of course, I can’t help but think the worst,” assistant chef Ignacio Albo told NBC 4, adding that Zamperoni was “incredibly professional … he could have just lost his leg and he would still come into work.”
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After he was reported missing, police searched around the confines of the 110 Precinct until they located Zamperoni’s body at Kamway Lodge & Tavern on Wednesday.
Kamway, which is located near LaGuardia Airport and just a few blocks away from Zamperoni’s Flushing residence, is listed as a hostel on TripAdvisor and offers single room bookings for as low as $36 per night.
At this time, it is unclear why Zamperoni was at the hostel.
The NYPD tells PEOPLE that they are investigating the situation and the Medical Examiner has not yet determined a cause of death.
Though Zamperoni had only worked at Cipraini’s Grand Central Terminal restaurant for a little over a year, the chef had been with the company for more than a decade at their other locations, including London where his brother also works, according to the New York Post.
Shortly after news of his passing broke, Cipriani Dolci issued a statement about the tragedy to PEOPLE, which was also shared on their Instagram.
“We have sadly learned that Andrea Zamperoni, a well-respected and beloved member of the Cipriani team for many years, who went missing last Sunday has been found deceased,” the restaurant said. “We will keep Andrea’s family in our thoughts and prayers and respect their privacy during this difficult time.”
“Andrea was a responsible, good-hearted, kind and very hard-working individual who will be deeply missed by all of us,” they continued. “We trust the NYPD is exerting all efforts to investigate and bring clarity to this tragic situation. We thank you for your support.”
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The Italian restaurant and bar, which overlooks Grand Central’s concourse, was first opened in Venice by the Cipriani family in 1913, but didn’t establish its New York roots until the 1980s, according to their website.
Today, they have locations all over the world, including Hong Kong, Las Vegas, Dubai, Mexico City, Miami, Monte Carlo, and Moscow.
Their New York location, stationed in the middle of Grand Central Terminal, has become a popular spot for both commuters and tourists to stop for a bite and watch the railroad and subway travelers quickly make their way to their destinations.