Head chef at popular Tri-State restaurant dies from COVID-19, family says

Avelino Rojas Vargas was head chef at KungFood Chu’s AmerAsia.

Head chef at popular Tri-State restaurant dies from COVID-19, family says
Avelino Rojas Vargas (Source: KungFood Chu's AmerAsia/Provided)

COVINGTON, Ky. (FOX19) - The head chef of one of Greater Cincinnati’s most popular restaurants has passed away from complications related to COVID-19.

Avelino Rojas Vargas was head chef at KungFood Chu’s AmerAsia, an Asian/Taiwanese fusion restaurant on Madison Avenue in Covington.

Vargas died Sunday, according to a post on the restaurant’s Facebook page. He is survived by his wife, five children and one granddaughter.

“As a chef, Avelino cooked with a passion and soul that was connected by a deep understanding of what makes good food. He was not a conceited chef; he’d roll up his sleeves and do many of the difficult chores most chefs would refuse to do,” the restaurant wrote.

“Over the decades that he worked in Cincinnati and NKY restaurants, thousands of people have had the privilege of tasting his cooking, including those of you reading this now.  We truly believe that if it were a different time, perhaps he would have received the recognition that many chefs of his background deserve.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up by Vargas’s family to help with the medical and funeral expenses.

“An immigrant from Michoacán, Mexico, and the sole provider for his family’s income, he has made many sacrifices to give them better opportunities here in the U.S.,” the fundraising page reads.

The restaurant added no other staff member has tested positive for COVID-19 from the time Vargas fell ill and that he did not work while symptomatic or after having tested positive himself.

Information on funeral arrangements is forthcoming.

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