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‘Kitchen Angels’ launch fundraiser for Asheville chef diagnosed with stage 4 cancer

By Hannah Mackenzie

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    ASHEVILLE, North Carolina (WLOS) — Asheville’s restaurant community is coming together to help one of its own.

Chef Rich DuBeau was recently diagnosed with cancer. DuBeau has worked at numerous Asheville restaurants, most recently, The Bull and Beggar.

Following nine months of misdiagnosis, DuBeau just got the news: he has stage 4 metastatic throat cancer.

“It’s been tough,” DuBeau said.

He and wife, Ana, got another blow Thursday, when a PET scan showed the cancer had spread.

“That’s when we found out it was stage 4,” DuBeau said. “It has spread through my blood.”

Although the DuBeaus are insured, medical bills are already mounting.

“From the ENT, the gastro, now the specialist the PET scan alone is $5,000,” Ana DuBeau said.

A crushing to start the new year for the family of four, who are now a single-income household with a 15-year-old and a newborn.

“It’s hard, but it helps you stay positive because you want to be there for them, you know, watch them grow up. So, hopefully, I mean, that will be the case,” DuBeau said. “I’ve got a lot of chemotherapy to go through and then radiation. It’s going to be about a year-long process.”

It’s a grueling battle that DuBeau is not facing alone. The “Kitchen Angels” have his back. Lea Panteliodis started a GoFundMe for the DuBeau family.

“Me and a couple of the restaurant guys that worked in the kitchen with him all talked about it in a group chat, and we got it going,” Panteliodis said.

Panteliodis, who worked alongside DuBeau in the kitchen for years, now owns Twin Denim Co., which constructs custom clothing out of denim and vintage deadstock fabrics.

Panteliodis also sews aprons for those still in the industry. This fundraiser is just another way to support a foodie friend in need, she said. The tight-knit restaurant family bands together when need be.

“You go through lots of ups and downs, and you make it through,” Panteliodis said. “It brings you together.”

Optimistic about his prognosis, the DuBeaus are looking forward to Rich’s first post-cancer meal.

“At the end of this, we’re going to go to probably The Bull and Beggar and get an amazing meal – or Cucina is one of his other favorite restaurants – and celebrate,” Ana said.

Some words of advice from DuBeau on being your own advocate when it comes to your health:

“Be insistent, go get yourself checked out, don’t let things you think are nothing go,” DuBeau said. “And be good to people, because they’ll be good back to you and yeah just stay positive.”

To contribute to the DuBeau GoFundMe account, visit:

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