The region’s culinary scene is still reeling over the loss of one of its finest. Patrick Feury, the 57-year-old executive chef and culinary mastermind at Nectar in Berwyn, died suddenly on Feb. 12 from a fall at his home in Paoli. He was remembered at a memorial service on Feb. 23 at St. Norbert Catholic Church in Paoli.
“In my 25-plus years of representing chefs and restaurateurs, nobody I’ve ever worked with compared to Patrick Feury,” says Peter Breslow, a public relations fixture in the region. “He was always so full of life, passion and happiness. He was one-of-a-kind—and a soul I’ll always think of while eating dumplings, hunting, fishing or learning about new foods.”
A partner at Nectar, Feury championed local farmers and purveyors—especially those in Chester County, where he was a collaborator with Yellow Springs Farm. “Patrick was a longtime friend and supporter of or our family farm,” says Birchrun Hill Farm’s Sue Miller. “My fondest memories of Patrick will be of the impromptu visits he’d make to the farm to pick up wheels of cheese. I’d receive a text saying he was swinging by—always on a brilliant and beautiful day. We’d talk about our families, farming and cheese. I’ll miss my friend. We’ll all miss him.”
Growing up in Morristown, N.J., Feury was exposed to aqua farming through a local 4-H club. Starting at the age 5, he helped raise sheep with his parents, and he was working at a local butcher shop by the time he was 14.
As his love for cooking evolved, Feury enrolled in the Academy of Culinary Arts in Mays Landing, N.J. He began his career at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. After working through the kitchen, he trained in the ice-sculpting program. He eventually headed to Les Olivades in Paris before returning to New York, where he worked at Le Cirque under Cambodian-born chef Sottha Khunn. It was his first experience using Asian ingredients combined with French technique.
Widely praised as the Main Line’s answer to Center City’s Buddakan, Nectar is defined by its impeccable Asian-inspired cuisine and a lavish interior that features a $250,000 silk-print Buddha and velvet curtains modeled after monks’ robes. According to Nectar’s social media channels, the restaurant “will carry on his legacy under the leadership of chef partner Kenny Huang.”
“I thought it was really cool that this guy who was a legit chef would sit with me at the bar and shoot the bull about my food truck, says Wayne’s Michael Cleary, who presides over Abuelita’s Empanadas.
Adds Keith Taylor, executive chef at Zachary’s BBQ in Norristown and Harrisburg: “Patrick and I go back to our Jersey connections and our bromance hours after our kitchens closed. He was always a true friend and the ultimate culinary professional. His passing leaves a void in my heart and the local culinary landscape.”