Search continues for missing Langdon Hall executive chef Jonathan Gushue

Matt Coutts
Daily Brew

The acclaimed executive chef of one of Ontario’s, if not Canada’s, best restaurants does not just simply disappear. He does not decide to slip into the night, unbeknownst to his family, his friends or his kitchen staff.

That is what Jonathan Gushue’s wife says, and Waterloo Regional Police seem to share her concern.

Gushue, the celebrated chef of Langdon Hall in Cambridge, Ont., disappeared on New Year’s Eve. According to the Globe and Mail, he was last at work on Dec. 29, after which he drove 100 kilometres to Toronto where he had dinner with a colleague and checked into the Park Hyatt hotel for two nights and hasn’t been heard from since.

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His wife, Karen Collingwood, told the Toronto Star, that he has not contacted her, or their three children, since his disappearance.  The Star report also infers that Gushue has previously battled alcoholism and has been receiving support for the past two years.

Collingwood told the newspaper:

I’m praying to god that he’s safe and that he remembers and feels the love that myself and my children and his friends and colleagues and employers feel for him. I pray that he feels it all.

A statement released by the Waterloo Regional Police makes no suggestion that foul play is suspected. Instead, it paints a picture of a man who has had no contact with his concerned family since New Year’s Eve, and who may be using the alias Jonathan Herder.

Gushue is originally from St. John's, Newfoundland. He began his cooking career at a Northern Ontario chalet before perfecting his craft in Japan, England, British Columbia and Toronto.

He received a five-diamond ranking at the age of 32.

Gushue joined Langdon Hall in 2005 and took the helm in 2009. Since then, the restaurant and chef have received honour and acclaim, including the CAA/AAA Five Diamond Restaurant Award.

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Langdon Hall released a statement expressing concern for its executive chef. The restaurant closed down for a week of maintenance on New Year ’s Day every year. It is scheduled to re-open on Wednesday, with or without Gushue.

Celebrity chefs, tony hotels, aliases and a New Year’s Eve disappearance: The mystery has all the makings of an Agatha Christie novel.

Here’s hoping it has a happier ending. And soon.