By Liz Collin

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — An up-and-coming St. Paul chef and young father has died after battling the flu.

Kyle Bell, 32, worked as the executive chef at Forepaugh’s in St. Paul. His colleagues say he’d been fighting the flu for weeks when he died Friday.

Now, Bell’s restaurant family is rallying around the wife and two children he leaves behind at home.

As a Minneapolis kid, Bell worked his way up the ranks at different restaurants across the Twin Cities, proudly posting his creations to his Facebook page.

Bell landed at Forepaugh’s five years ago, only recently earning the coveted executive chef title.

Shawn Taher is the chief operating officer at Taher. His family owns Forepaugh’s.

“One could argue hardly out of the starting block,” Taher said. “He’s young, vibrant and amazing at food.”

Kyle Bell (credit: CBS)

Taher had just been in last Tuesday to meet with Bell and taste a new menu he’d been working on.

“It’s just bizarre to think three days later you get a phone call that he’s gone,” Taher said.

He was told Bell had been fighting the flu for weeks. He’d been on antibiotics but went home sick Friday. When his wife tried to wake him up from the couch that day, he didn’t move.

He leaves behind 3-year-old Stormy and 3-month-old Maurice.

“There’s really no words you can share,” Taher said.

Bell’s colleagues are now doing what they can to care for his young family, as they look back on the man they considered to have the perfect recipe as a person.

“He had all the right pieces,” Taher said.

Bell’s funeral will be held Friday in Minneapolis. Forepaugh’s is planning a fundraiser for Bell’s family in the near future. They have also launched a GoFundMe page.

Liz Collin