Patrick Feury, chef and partner of the Nectar restaurant, dies at 57

Patrick Feury, 57, a chef whose repertoire and curiosity spanned the globe, died on Saturday February 12 following an accidental fall at his home in Paoli, his brother Terence Feury, also a chef, said.

Mr. Feury, who grew up in Middletown, NJ, was the chef and a partner of Nectar at Berwyn, a popular Main Line destination restaurant. More recently, he also held interests in Danlu (later the Common) in University City, which closed in 2020 during the pandemic.

He was a champion of local farmers and food makers, especially those in Chester County, where he was a contributor to Yellow Springs Farm. He was known for his ice sculptures and fishing trips.

“I’ll put it in the simplest way possible: he just wanted to be loved and make people happy,” said Terence Feury, executive chef at Forty 1 North in Newport, RI, and three-year-old Patrick Junior. He and his brother have maintained a friendly sibling rivalry, whether it’s creating competing beers or appearing on the Food Network show. Defeat Bobby Flay. (Térence won but lost to Flay.)

“He was my best friend,” said his fiancée, Jessica Cornacchio, who met him almost five years ago while playing bingo. (He offered to split his winnings, she said.)

“He paid every attention to detail,” said Michael Wei, a Nectar partner who recruited Mr. Feury and befriended him. “The grief is beyond words,” said Henry Chu, also a partner.

“His culinary curiosity spanned the globe,” said Inquirer reviewer Craig LaBan, who marveled at Mr. Feury’s “passion and unrivaled technique, street food and dumplings. Taiwanese with Swedish saltfish, fine French sauces and the ultimate in burger indulgence”.

(This burger, served at the Common, featured two four-ounce patties of Pinelands Farms beef, topped with caramelized onions, shredded lettuce, spiced house pickle chips and a special sauce, with Cooper sharp cheese oozing between the patties.)

Mr. Feury’s first job was as a pot washer in a butcher shop at age 15. He graduated from the Academy of Culinary Arts in Mays Landing, NJ, just like his brother. While a senior, Mr. Feury turned his internship at New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel into a full-time job. After joining Le Cirque, where he became a sous chef, Mr. Feury convinced his brother to move to New York.

Mr. Feury’s next stop was Paris, where he worked at Les Olivades. The brothers reunited in Philadelphia after Terence Feury took over as chef at Striped Bass, then owned by Neil Stein, and recommended his brother to run the kitchen at Stein’s next project, Avenue B, which opened late 2000 at Broad and Spruce streets.

Mr Feury left Avenue B when it was abruptly closed in 2003 and joined chef Susanna Foo, first as chef of her eponymous restaurant and then as executive chef of her restaurant Suilan at the Borgata in Atlantic City.

His next move, in 2004, was his most auspicious: joining partners in a flashy transformation of a watering hole called Billy Jake’s into the posh Nectar.

Widely hailed as the main line’s answer to Center City’s Buddakan, Nectar features a $250,000 silk-printed Buddha in the dining room and long gold and burgundy velvet curtains inspired by monks’ robes. Mr. Feury has hired a sushi artisan trained in Japan to work at the counter.

In 2008, Mr. Feury and his brother were associated with Maia at Villanova, a restaurant, cafe and food market with a Scandinavian menu that closed about a year later.

Mr. Feury, divorced with a son, Thomas, 16, and a daughter, Nicole, 18, had lived with Cornacchio and his daughters, Paige, 11, and Pali, 9, whom he introduced to skiing.

“He was funny, witty and brilliant and made everyone feel like he was a close friend,” Cornacchio said. “He also wanted people to know the sources of everything. He met the farmers and brewers and was truly amazing at building relationships.

Kenny Huang, also a partner, will take over as head.

A memorial is planned, his survivors said.

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