'Godfather Of American Cuisine' Larry Forgione Charged In Death Of Pedestrian

Iron Chef alum Larry Forgione will be charged with one misdemeanor count of vehicular manslaughter in Santa Barbara, California. The Santa Barbara Independent reports that Forgione, the former New York City chef–restaurateur who has been hailed as "the Godfather of American Cuisine," is allegedly responsible for the death of 90-year-old Gilbert Ramirez, who was crossing the street in the coastal city on February 24 when Forgione struck him with his car. Ramirez was taken to a local hospital, where he later died.

The tragedy occured between Haley and Cota streets, around 7 p.m. According to police reports, Forgione had taken his eyes off the road to look at a GPS when he struck the man. It is reported that he stopped his car immediately and cooperated with authorities when they arrived on-scene.

According to court documents, Forgione will be arraigned in Santa Barbara Superior Court on April 9 at 8:30 a.m., and will be charged with vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence.

The Daily Meal has reached out to Santa Barbara police for further information on this case.

Forgione was born in Long Island, New York, in 1952. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), he cooked at the Connaught Hotel in London and the River Café in Brooklyn, but is best known for his work at his now-closed An American Place restaurant in New York City — once given a three-star rating by The New York Times.

In 1993, Forgione was recognized as Chef of the Year by the CIA and the nation's Outstanding Chef by the James Beard Foundation. Widely credited with helping to start the farm-to-table movement, he is co-founder and culinary director of the CIA's American Food Studies: Farm to Table Cooking curriculum.

Forgione's sons are also chefs. Marc Forgione is a recurring participant on and one-time winner of Iron Chef. He is also the owner of the Michelin-starred fine-dining restaurant Marc Forgione in Manhattan, as well as two American Cut steakhouses in New York City and one in Englewood, New Jersey. Bryan Forgione, is the executive chef at "Cake Boss" Buddy Valastro's restaurant in the Palazzo resort in Las Vegas