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Brian D. Kaywork; loving father, loving husband, chef, mentor, coach and armchair philosopher; passed away on April 30, 2021 from an unexpected heart attack at the age of 46. Brian was out doing one of his favorite things, picking spring morel mushrooms, when he was found by a hiker. While his life was cut tragically short, he will be forever remembered for living his life fully, following his passions, caring deeply for those around him, and for his constant pursuit of exploration and adventures.
Chef Brian Kaywork, Culinary Arts Instructor for the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, NY was revered and well-loved by CIA faculty, staff and students. His current role was chef-instructor evening service at American Bounty Restaurant. Brian proudly graduated with high honors from the CIA in 2002, earning his Associate Degree in Culinary Arts along with receiving the management award, making the dean’s list, and voted the honor of being class graduation student speaker. Brian furthered his culinary education by completing a CIA Fellowship Certification in 2003. Prior to his role as chef instructor at the CIA, Brian had been an executive chef, sous chef and general manager at a number of local restaurants in the Hudson Valley. He was committed to sourcing local hyper-regional ingredients. His focus was creating ever-changing seasonal menus, highlighting the bounty of farms and products nearby. Brian especially cherished the relationships he formed with many farm owners and their workers over the years. Brian was living his dream of sharing his creative skills in the role of teacher and was highly active on several committees at the CIA.
Brian cultivated his love of the outdoors in everyday adventures. Whether foraging for mushrooms or other wild edibles, fishing and camping with his family, visiting local farms/markets, mountain biking, hiking, snowboarding, or prowling the ocean for a wave to surf, Brian was in constant contact with nature. He carried this love into his work as a chef where he was a strong proponent of farm and forest to table menu design.
Brian was a volunteer youth soccer coach with Hyde Park United Soccer League. He touched the lives of many children across the district. He was intellectually curious, down to earth, and always willing to challenge the norms. He was an avid cookbook collector, and especially liked to score cheap finds at estate sales featuring food history. Brian often danced to his own tune, and inspired others to do the same, ensuring that he was never dancing alone for long.
Prior to graduation from the CIA he graduated from McDaniel College, Westminster, MD in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, exercise science. Brian was born in Toms River, NJ and grew up surrounded by a large endearing family. He mainly grew up in New Jersey and spent years in the ocean, his happy place, surfing the east coast. Eventually, the west coast and its beautiful ocean waves were calling. He met his wife Tara in sunny California and upon meeting they quickly began adventures together all over Southern California and Baja, Mexico. Shortly after starting their relationship, Brian was intrigued by the possibility of studying to start a new career path, eventually declaring, “I think I want to be a chef.” He decided on CIA Hyde Park, NY and soon they traveled cross country together to start that path. Together for 22 amazing jam-packed years, and married oceanside in Key West, FL 2005, they welcomed baby Hayden Eliott in 2010. Brian was taken too soon in 2021, as he was nowhere near finished.
Brian is survived by his wife Tara (Lieb), his son Hayden, his parents Mary and Edward Kaywork, his brothers Tym and Nick, his sisters Aly and Mary-Kate and a large family of uncles, aunts and cousins.
In accordance to his wishes, Brian’s cremated remains will be displayed amongst pictures and memorabilia celebrating his life. Those wishing to pay respects can do so between 10:30 am and 2:00 pm on May 8, 2021 at Burnett & White Funeral Home in Rhinebeck, NY. A private reception will follow at Locust Grove Estate, Poughkeepsie.
The trajectory of Hayden and Tara’s life without Brian is forever changed. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made thru www.kaywork.com to help support preparations and planning for the future.
We are gathering precious moments for safe keeping, and the family requests anyone that is willing to please share pictures of Brian to www.kaywork.com.