Jessica Vogel, a New Jersey chef who appeared on Hell’s Kitchen and Cutthroat Kitchen, died on Monday. She was 34.
The chef’s fiancé, John Michael Keyser, told NorthJersey.com that she was being treated for the inflammatory bowel disease colitis at a hospital in southern New Jersey when “her heart gave out.” She is survived by her mother, Donna Bruchmann, her father, Mark Vogel, and her sister, Caitlin Johnstone, according to an obituary published in the Star Ledger on Wednesday.
The obit references Vogel’s struggle with drugs and alcohol throughout her life, though it also noted she had recently sought treatment at an in-patient rehabilitation program. “Unfortunately, the damage done over the years was too great, and she died, like she lived, a fighter,” reads the tribute.
Johnstone posted on Facebook in honor of her sister, writing of her “vivacious personality and huge smile.”
“Just being around my sister made me the happiest person in the world,” she continued. “That world has been taken away from me and I have never felt so lost.”
Vogel received her culinary degree from Johnson & Wales in Denver, Colorado. She went on to work at a number of restaurants around New Jersey, while also appearing on cooking competition shows. During an episode of Hell’s Kitchen in 2014, Vogel received some rare praise from the show’s host Gordon Ramsay for a venison dish she created. She ultimately placed 12th in the competition.
Keyser, who told NorthJersey.com that he spoke with Vogel a week ago, said they were “planning to open a restaurant together. My heart is breaking.”