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Restaurant mourns sudden death of its 26-year-old sous chef

The restaurant is holding a memorial open house to celebrate his life.
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The Twin Cities culinary world is mourning the death of a talented sous chef who has worked among the state's top restaurants.

Stewart's, in the Merriam Park neighborhood of St. Paul, closed this past Wednesday after learning of the death of its 26-year-old sous chef Erich Scheie, who had passed away overnight.

The restaurant is holding a memorial open house from 4-7 p.m. May 1 to celebrate Scheie's life, describing him as a "dynamic part of our staff" whose death is a "painful loss."

The Twin Cities Eater reports that Scheie, a native of Buffalo, Minnesota, had previously worked at top restaurants Victory 44, Upton 43 and the Surly Brewer's Table before heading to Stewart's. The Eater says he "knew how to coax flavor from local ingredients and inspire friends around him."

Max Thompson, the head chef who relaunched the 128 Cafe as Stewart's this past fall, told the Eater: "He was a really great, kind, gentle person and I haven't met anyone who didn't love him immediately."

Speaking to the CityPages, Thompson said that Scheie was clean-living, even bringing his own healthy meals to work to make sure he was eating right, and that the "only thing that he did that was dangerous was ride motorcycles."

A fundraising page on GoFundMe has been started to help the family handle the costs following his death, which has so far raised more than $2,400. He is survived by his parents and three brothers.

The cause of his death has not been disclosed. A service will be held in Buffalo later this week.

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