Chef Jonray Sanchez-Iglesias dies aged 32
Michelin-starred chef Jonray Sanchez-Iglesias has died at the age of 32.
Jonray owned and ran Casamia restaurant in Bristol along with his brother Peter.
He passed away on Friday 6 November after battling with melanoma cancer for the past four years.
A statement from the restaurant said: "At the age of 32, Jonray achieved more than many of us could dream of accomplishing in a lifetime, not just throughout his incredible career as an extremely talented chef, but also in his personal life as a devoted husband and loving father of two beautiful girls, Olive and Bella."
The news came just as it emerged over the weekend that Casamia had been named in the Sunday Times as the fourth best restaurant in the UK.
"This accolade is a testament to Jonray's dedication to our restaurant and industry over the years, an industry that he loved so much and considered himself lucky to be a part of," the statement said.
It continued: "Throughout the past four years Jonray's strength and bravery were unbelievable. No matter what challenges he faced Jonray would always fight back. Even after undergoing numerous surgeries and making countless visits to the oncology unit he was determined to head straight back to his team and guests, just to hear the words, ‘check on chief'. His colleagues and customers would never have known what he was going through and that is the way he wanted it. He always put on a brave face and seldom complained during the four years since his diagnosis.
"We hope Jonray's last words to his mum will inspire people and his memory will live on through his remarkable life story: ‘Life gives you a gift every day and you have to use it as best as you can as it won't last forever. Love you loads and so proud and happy that you are my mum'. These words will stay with us and remind us to live as Jonray did, making the most of every second.
"We would like to thank everyone for the overwhelming support we have received over the last couple of days; it has really helped us to get through this difficult time.
"Jonray, your incredible wife and daughters, loving family and multitude of friends, colleagues and peers are going to miss you and we will continue to make you proud every day."
In addition to the recent accolade from the Sunday Times, Jonray and Peter were named Chefs of the Year in the Waitrose Good Food Guide 2015, and also featured on the cover of The Caterer in 2012, as they started to make their name having taken over their parent's restaurant, in Westbury-on-Trym, six years before.
Casamia is expected to relocate from Westbury-on-Trym to the centre of Bristol early next year.
Michelin-starred Casamia restaurant to relocate >>
Jonray and Peter Sanchez-Iglesias Chefs of the Year in Waitrose Good Food Guide >>