Gifted Dallas chef and culinary visionary Joshua Bonee dies at 36
Joshua Bonee, one of Dallas' most gifted chefs, died on January 9; he was 36.
Bonee was a native of Tennessee who came to Dallas to work for Stephan Pyles' Flora Street Café, following a series of tenures in Tennessee and on the West Coast, including Easy Bistro in Chattanooga and Husk, the Nashville restaurant from celebu-chef Sean Brock. He worked in Napa Valley at the now closed Martini House, and Matteis Tavern in Los Olivos.
After Flora Street Café, he was chef de cuisine, then executive chef, at Fine China, at the Statler hotel. He also worked at Meddlesome Moth and was nominated in 2020 for a CultureMap Tastemaker Award for Rising Star Chef.
He took time off to combat Guillan-Barre Syndrome (and in fact, Dallas chefs banded together to do a fundraiser for him called "For The Love of Josh"), and returned to the industry to help open concepts such as Lucky's Hot Chicken, 42 BBQ Smokehouse + Market in Richardson, LimeHoney at the Shire, Columbian Country Club, and Teriyaki 4 U in Carrollton.
Bonee was universally well liked and was a devoted pet owner of his long-haired Doxie, who even had his own dedicated Instagram page. On Instagram, Bonee described himself as a "cooker of foods~Dad to a long haired Doxie named The Beans @beans_da_weens_ ~GBS Fighter~Private Chef~Consulting~Restaurant Development & Creation."
In between photos of his dog, Bonee would occasionally post photos of dishes he'd created.
"I figured since I’m heading back to lovely TN this week, it felt right to do some Nashville Hot stuff….Pullman loaf, green goddess dressing, Nashville Hot sweetbreads (medium heat)," said one post.
According to Dallas County records, Bonee was found on Tuesday morning at the Wingate Hotel at 8550 N. Stemmons Fwy., but the cause of death is still unknown. UPDATE 1-10-2024: A family member said the cause of death was pneumonia.
A friend of the family said that Bonee did not frequent that area, and was not a user of drugs.
Those who knew him said he was not only a talented chef who made a big impact on the Dallas culinary scene, but also incredibly kind, modest, and generous of spirit.
His modesty was apparent in posts such as the one where he shared that he'd be working at Meddlesome Moth. "Don’t like getting headshots done (always so awkward)," he said. His Linked In profile summary was simply: "Guy that likes to cook."
Jason Caswell, a close friend who was planning to open a restaurant with Bonee, called him "a culinary visionary who cared about his friends and employees."
"He had a passion and love for the lifestyle and inspired others," Caswell said. "It's a huge loss for his friends and for the Dallas restaurant industry."
Survivors include his father Darren, stepmother Holli, siblings Caleb, Darin, Paige, Coltyn, Zander, Ryder, and nieces Calliope and Madison.
A "Celebration of Life for Josh Bonee" is being held on Sunday January 14 at 4 pm at El Centro College North Campus for Culinary, Pastry and Hospitality at 11830 Webb Chapel Rd., Dallas.