Teresa Gubbins at Culture Map has reported that Randall Copeland, the chef and co-owner of Restaurant Ava and Boulevardier, died on Tuesday morning. He was 39.
According to a spokeswoman for his restaurant, the beloved chef died in his sleep; the cause of death was not known.
Copeland was born and raised in East Dallas and became hooked on cooking while attending Skyline High in the late ’80s and taking classes in its culinary program.”Big Cat,” as he was known, began working at the Park Cities Hilton, then Garland’s Eastern Hills Country Club. He eventually worked at the Green Room and then moved to Las Vegas to cook at Bradley Ogden’s inside Caesar’s Palace. When he returned to Dallas, he worked with Graham Dodds at Bolsa in Oak Cliff before setting off on his own in 2008 with Ava and then with Boulevardier in the Bishop Arts District.