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Detroit-based chef Matt Prentice, who used to run more than a dozen restaurants, died after a brief illness.

He was 62 years old, and his death was listed as unrelated to COVID-19.

Prentice is well known by the former Unique Restaurant Corp., the driving force behind several Detroit restaurants, including the former Coach Insignia at the top of the Renaissance Center (now Highlands), Deli. Unique, Duet, Shiraz, Morels, Northern Lakes Seafood, and many others.The restaurant group was later renamed Matt Prentice.

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Prentice is a graduate of the prestigious American Culinary Institute and Born Detroiter, he is known for his early career as a Detroit chef.

Prentice recently partnered with Leon’s Mary Liz Curtin and popular Lulu in Clawson to open Three Cats Cafe in an adjoining theater building.

“There are a lot of cooks in town starting out with his kitchen,” says Mary Liz Curtin of Leon & Lulu. “He’s a great teacher and is very generous with time, skill and everything.”

The restaurant opened in the fall of 2019 after a five-year non-competitive, court-ordered deal that Prentice made with a former restaurant group employer expired.

“There is a big empty spot at the Three Cats. Matt is a big man with a huge heart, laughing loudly and generous. He was a great teacher, a great mentor and an unbelievable cook. All of us at Three Cats thank him and are proud to be a Matt Prentice restaurant. We will always serve up his favorite recipes and there will always be mushrooms on the menu, ”Curtin said.

Disciple is also best known for his philanthropic work, as well as working closely with Cass Community Social Services and Rev. Faith Fowler, a Detroit-based nonprofit that provides housing, food, health services and Job training A student following the news announcing his death has built the CASS kitchen, which serves more than 700,000 meals a year.

“Matt taught our staff to cook from the start, he taught me hospitality and practice generosity,” said Rev. Fowler. “We are devastated by the news and we will always thank Matt for his friendship and talent.”

The Three Cats Kitchen will be run by Drew Cayuela and Chef Alex Matoin Curtin, share it. “The spirit, generosity and taste of Prentice that will make us a Matt Prentice restaurant.”

Contact Detroit Free food writer Susan Selasky and send food and restaurant news to: 313-222-6872 or sselasky@freepress.com Follow @SusanMariecooks on Twitter.

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