Michael A. Ginor, Co-Owner of Restaurant LOLA and Hudson Valley Foie Gras, Passes Away
Culinary Icon Will be Remembered for his Kind Heart and Passion for Fine Food
Sullivan County, NY (PRUnderground) November 29th, 2022
Renowned chef, restauranteur, book author, and the co-founder of Restaurant LOLA and Hudson Valley Foie Gras, Michael A. Ginor, unexpectedly passed away from a heart attack on November 25th while participating in an Iron Man competition at the Sea of Galilee in Israel.
Ginor was widely known in the culinary world as the co-owner of LOLA, an award-winning Mediterranean restaurant on Long Island which he opened with friend and business partner, Executive Chef Lenny Messina. He was also co-owner and president of Hudson Valley Foie Gras, a leading producer of the gourmet delicacy, foie gras.
Ginor’s lifelong passion for fine foods took him on journeys around the world. He wrote extensively about his culinary experiences, authored several cookbooks about foie gras, and appeared on the popular Food Network cooking series, Beat Bobby Flay. He was also known for his support of numerous charities including City Harvest, Autism Speaks and the Anthony Spinazzola Foundation.
“Michael will be remembered as a generous and passionate, fine-food artist who had a keen sense for business,” said his friend and co-owner of Restaurant LOLA, Lenny Messina. “His vision revolutionized the way foie gras is produced, distributed, and served by the world’s finest chefs and restaurants. It is truly a sad day for all of us.”
Ginor was instrumental in the recent effort to educate the dining public about foie gras and the innovative new production practices he and his farms have developed. Over the years, he’s been strong vocal advocate against legislation that seeks to ban the sale of foie gras – calling such bills ill informed, shortsighted, and anti-business.
“Because of Michael’s efforts, foie gras is a gourmet delicacy enjoyed by thousands of restaurant guests globally,” said Marcus Henley, a spokesperson for the Catskill Foie Gras Collective. “It will be an honor and privilege for all of us to continue his groundbreaking work in this industry.”
Born in Seattle in 1963, Ginor moved to Israel with his parents when he was young. There he served in the Israeli Army and then came back to the United States where he completed undergraduate studies at Brandeis University and earned an MBA at New York University.
After graduating, he started a career on Wall Street where he became the youngest Senior Vice President for David Lerner Associates at age 23. He soon bid farewell to the world of finance to focus on his love of cuisine and has since gone on to become a well-respected expert in the field.
Ginor loved Thailand, France, and Tel Aviv, immersing himself in the cuisines of each and writing extensively on what he’d learned.
“I met Michael when he started Hudson Valley Foie Gras in early 1990. It was an immediate friendship,” said Chef Roland Passot, owner of La Folie and Left Bank Brasseries. “He was a generous man with a great soul and will be greatly missed.”
“It’s truly such a profound loss,” said Izabela Wojcik, Director of Programming at the James Beard House. “He defined a chapter in America’s food history.”
“Michael was the most humble, kindest human I’ve ever met,” said Private Chef Peter Barlow. “He was inspiring and funny. I will always remember his kindness and his curiosity for life and food.”
A graveside burial will be held 10:30 am on November 30th at:
Beth Moses Cemetery
1500 Wellwood Avenue
West Babylon, NY
Block 19-23 / Section 2 / Row M
Followed by a memorial service/reception to be held at 1:00 pm at:
20 Arleigh Road
Great Neck, NY
Which will be live-streamed for those who wish to pay their respects from afar:
(Out of respect for the widely known “Michael Ginor uniform”, black t-shirts, chef jackets, and jeans are welcome.)
About Hudson Valley Foie Gras
Hudson Valley Foie Gras is one of the largest producers of raw and ready-to-eat duck and chicken products. Located on 200 lush acres in the beautiful Catskills Mountains, the facility has a more than 30-year history of setting global standards for animal care. Founded by Michael A. Ginor and Izzy Yanay, the farm encompasses all stages of foie gras production from breeding to packaging.