It is with heavy hearts that we learn of the tragic news this morning that Justin and his mom did not make it out of their home in the North Fork area fire.
Initial reports of them missing have been shared since early in the week and we have all been praying for an outcome other than this.
As we all grapple with this news and pray for Justin’s family here in Oregon and Mexico, many of Justin’s friends in Albany, OR are working together within the restaurant industry Justin was a part of. As many chefs and cooks know, the restaurant industry is your other family. We all stand together, we sweat together, we grind together and when one of us falls, the others always have their back.
Justin was part of the Frankie's family and worked as my Sous Chef for many years. He was humble, kind, strong in his chef skills and a truly loving and BRAVE man.
When he came to me and told me, Chef I need to quit, I was shocked, until I heard the reason why. He had fallen in LOVE, in love with Yuni Magana our salad cook at the time. Looking at my younger years in the kitchen, I couldn't help but see myself in him and with that, I gave my blessing.
Justin moved to Mexico... followed his heart and his dreams! Yuni and Justin were and are so in love. We all pray for Yuni and her family in Mexico that opened their home and hearts to Justin.
We pray for Travis Cook, Justin’s brother here in Oregon and their entire family.
In the coming days, local restaurants, including First Burger, Frankie's, Sybaris, Dough Hook Bake Shop, Bodhi Cafe and Bodhi Bakery will be working together to provide support to Justin’s family here in Oregon and Mexico. Justin had an extended family in Mexico and we pray we can provide a way for them to travel here for services.
A private wake and service announcements will follow. All donations will be distributed to the Cook and Magana Family.