James Andrew Hutzenbiler, a talented and respected chef, has sadly passed away on July 14, 2023, in his hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts. Born on July 1, 1979, in Worcester, James was the beloved son of Richard and Clare (Droney) Hutzenbiler. He will be deeply missed by his surviving family and friends.
James's love for culinary arts began at a young age and continued to flourish throughout his life. He received his education at Wachusett Regional High School in Holden, Massachusetts, before pursuing his passion at the California School of Culinary Arts in Pasadena, California. Armed with knowledge and skills from his culinary education, James embarked on an impressive career that took him to various destinations.
James first made a mark in Los Angeles, California, where he worked at the prestigious Los Angeles Music Center. He had the honor of serving celebrities who dined before and after events at the center. His talent and dedication led to him being recommended for the position of Sous Chef at the renowned Pacific Life Tennis Tournament in Palm Springs where he was later nominated for Project Readiness, a management program for young chefs.
Seeking new opportunities, James was offered the chance to become part owner/operator of Smokey's BBQ & Diner in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. During this time, the restaurant quickly gained recognition as one of the best new restaurants of the year by the Northwest Chamber of Commerce. James then served as a Sous Chef at Vast Restaurant in Oklahoma City and was honored with the Hirst Award in 2015 for his remarkable contributions to the Oklahoma restaurant industry.
In pursuit of being close to his family once again, James returned to Massachusetts. He worked alongside the Wallace family at Barbers Crossing in Sterling and Leicester before joining Compass Group at WPI and later serving at Washburn House in Millbury. His culinary skills brought joy to many as he shared his passion through cooking for everyone.
Beyond his professional achievements, James found purpose in volunteering during challenging times. When the restaurant industry faced a downturn in 2020, causing him to struggle with his own life, he dedicated himself to working with the homeless and offered his services to organizations such as Net of Compassion. James's commitment extended to mentoring residents at Jeremiah's Inn, Washburn House, and The Willing House. These charitable endeavors became a source of fulfillment and a way for James to make a positive impact on the lives of others as well as his own.
In his free time, James enjoyed skiing and continued to explore his passion for cooking. His love for food was not limited to his profession; it extended to creating memorable experiences for family and friends.
James leaves behind a cherished daughter, Keeyanah R. Hutzenbiler of Holden, Massachusetts. He is also survived by his parents, Richard and Clare (Droney) Hutzenbiler of Norman, Oklahoma; his brother, Kristopher Hutzenbiler of Moore, Oklahoma; his sisters, Shana Hutzenbiler of Holden, Massachusetts, and Julie O'Dell (Travis O'Dell)of Nevada City, California. James was predeceased in death by his beloved grandmother, Dolma V. Howland.
In addition to his immediate family, James is also remembered by many other loved ones who will hold him dear in their hearts forever. His birth family includes his birth mother, Ellie Flagg of Danielson, Connecticut; stepfather Ken Hutchinson of Danielson, Connecticut; birth brothers George Flagg (Liliana)of Nashua, New Hampshire; Devin Flagg of Dudley Massachusetts; Bradford Flagg (Brianna)of Connecticut; and stepsister Sarah Hutchinson of Connecticut. James's beloved birth grandmother, Ruth Charron from Largo Florida, also mourns his loss along with numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
A celebration of James's life will take place on Friday, August 4th, 2023, from 4PM to 7PM at Fay Brothers Life Celebration Home, 1 West Boylston Street, West Boylston. A graveside service will take place Tuesday, August 8th at 11:00am in Saint John's Cemetery located at 260 Cambridge Street in Worcester.
James Andrew Hutzenbiler will forever be remembered as a talented chef, a loving father, and a compassionate individual. His contributions to the culinary industry and his commitment to making a difference in the lives of others will leave an enduring legacy. May his soul find eternal peace, and may his loved ones find comfort in the memories they shared with him.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to “Jeremiah’s Inn, PO Box 30035, Worcester, MA 01610 or on-line at www.jeremiahsinn.kindful.com.