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James Salomone, former executive chef of Parsnip restaurant in Cambridge, with actress Mila Kunis in 2018. Salomone, 47, died unexpectedly after surgery on June 27.
James Salomone, former executive chef of Parsnip restaurant in Cambridge, with actress Mila Kunis in 2018. Salomone, 47, died unexpectedly after surgery on June 27. Parsnip

James Salomone, the former executive chef at Parsnip, died unexpectedly June 27 at Massachusetts General Hospital following complications from surgery. He was 47.

“Chef Jimmy was an absolute joy to work with,” said Tamy Tiongson, Parsnip’s general manager. “He was a true culinary talent, with creative and inspiring flavor combinations on the plate.”

In a press release, Edwina Kluender, who works with Parsnip and had previously worked with Salomone, said that despite the unexpected nature of his death, Salomone died in the presence of many friends and family.

“[He] was passionate about his work and dedicated to his loving everyone in his life,” said Kluender. “He touched so many lives.”

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Salomone grew up in Chicago with a large Italian family. Drawing inspiration from his mother and his classical French training, he spent his time at Parsnip creating globally inspired and ingredient-driven modern American cuisine. He opened the restaurant in 2015 as sous chef and became executive chef at the end of 2017.

Before his time at Parsnip, Salomone worked under Ken Oringer at the Eliot Hotel’s Clio and at Back Bay’s Uni as well as in New York City under Tom Colicchio at Craft and Colicchio & Sons, and under Daniel Boulud at Café Boulud.

Tiongson said that Salomone’s impact in the kitchen went far beyond his cooking abilities.

“He was a constant coach, drawing the best out of cooks, inspiring them to do more,” Tiongson told the Globe. “He had a huge personality to match his loud voice, and it’ll be hard to imagine not hearing him sing in the kitchen anymore.”

A GoFundMe has been created to help raise money for his family.


Chris Triunfo can be reached at christian.triunfo@globe.com. Follow him on twitter @triunfo_chris.