At Monday night's James Beard Awards, Ciarán Duffy — former chef of Tristan — was memorialized in a slide show as being deceased. Trouble is, the dude ain't dead.
From Sean Brock twitter feed: "It was weird seeing 'in memory of' ciaran duffy, complete with a picture of him sitting outside tristan. spoke with ciaran after the awards"
As soon as it happened, Duffy says his phone started blowing up. Plenty of friends and colleagues were at the event to witness the confusing slide show and called him to find out if he was still alive.
Michael White was one of those friends. He said he couldn't believe it when he saw Duffy's picture. "I had just talked to him five days ago." White was at the awards with his friend Bob Waggoner, who reassured him that it must be a mistake. "I called him and I just kept hoping he would answer that cell phone, and he did."
After the ceremony, White says he ran into the Jeremy and Deanie Fox, the chefs from Ubuntu who cooked at Tristan with Aaron Deal during the Food & Wine Festival. They had no reason to think Duffy hadn't passed away, until White told them, no, he's fine. That was a mistake.
The next day, Duffy posted on his Facebook page: "It was announced late last night during the James Beard Awards Ceremony that I Died! Nothing could be further from the truth. With the exception of some residual IBS from my trip to China and a little ManScaping incident I feel great! That isn't to say there couldn't be something wrong, all that mountain dew cant be good for the body. But at the end of the day It was truly an honor just to be mentioned, Thanks JB."
According to Janie Schneider, the assistant to the director of promotions and special events, it was simply a dumb case of mistaken identity. Apparently, another Ciaran Duffy, who worked at Namibia Breweries, died of cancer last September.