WILLIAMSBURG-Chef John R. Gonzales, owner of the popular Williamsburg fine dining establishment A Chef’s Kitchen, has passed away. Gonzales, a pillar of the Williamsburg community, died on October 31.
Gonzales, a native of Williamsburg, was a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and worked in the Washington DC and Northern Virginia areas before returning to Williamsburg after being hired at The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in 1996. Gonzales eventually became the executive chef of the Colonial Williamsburg taverns and other properties. He was the author of two best-selling cookbooks for Colonial Williamsburg.
More recently, Gonzales was executive chef and owner of A Chef’s Kitchen, an interactive cooking class and dining experience that first opened in August 2004. The intimate establishment offered seasonal dishes and demonstrations from Gonzales and his colleagues and was often booked full months in advance. A Chef’s Kitchen remained temporarily closed with the exception of its wine shop during the pandemic prior to his passing.
Gonzales was an active member of the community and was a participant in the annual Dancing With the Williamsburg Stars benefit event in 2019. News of his passing quickly spread on social media.
“Very sad news for our community,” Williamsburg Area Restaurant Association posted on November 1. “John was an extraordinary human being, amazing chef, and friend, who will be greatly missed.”