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Jean Banchet dies at 72; Chicago chef set high standard
Jean Banchet dies at 72; Chicago chef set high standard

Jean Banchet, a prodigiously talented chef and gregarious personality who almost single-handedly raised Chicago's dining reputation from a steak-and-potatoes town to a serious restaurant city, has died. He was 72. Banchet, Chicago's first celebrity chef, died Sunday at his home in Jupiter, Fla., three weeks after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, said his wife, Doris. In 1973, Chicago's culinary reputation began and ended with steak. Then came Banchet, who had been brought to the area by famed restaurateur Arnie Morton to head the kitchen at the Playboy Club in Lake Geneva, Wis. When Banchet was ready to strike out on his own, he selected a property in Wheeling, Ill. — the...

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