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Chef Michael Altenberg, Campagnola Founder, Dies at 48

The Chicago area restauranteur was passionate about local, sustainable food.

Chef Michael Altenberg, who founded restaurant, died Saturday at the age of 48, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Altenberg was an early and leading proponent of Chicago's farm-to-table movement, which brings local, organic and sustainable ingrediants to area restaurants.

"His resume reads like a history of Chicago fine dining," critic Phil Vettel writes in the Tribune article. "He was head chef at Avanzare, Cassis, Gordon and Montparnasse restaurants; he worked at Le Francais in the Jean Banchet days. He opened Campagnola in Evanston, Crust pizzeria in Wicker Park and Bistro Campagne, all as owner/partner."

The website Chicago Eater is reporting that Altenberg's wife found him at home, unresponsive. Paramedics were unable to revive him.

The Tribune article says there will be a memorial service Wednesday, but did not have details. Read the full article here.

Cyndi Gage March 12, 2012 at 11:59 PM
So sad, What a lost of talent. My heart goes out to his family.
Linda Gartz March 23, 2012 at 08:16 PM
Campagnola is our favorite restaurant. We are going there tonight--to celebrate my birthday. We made reservations before we knew Chef Michael had died. What a tragedy for his family and his restaurant family. How bittersweet this birthday meal will be. My condolences to all who lived and worked with him. He was a treasure.

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