Sydney chef Kerby Craig – founder of Ume – tragically dies aged 38

Celebrated Sydney chef and founder of a successful burger chain dies suddenly at the age of 38 – two years after assaulting his girlfriend in a jealous rage

A Sydney chef who has worked in Michelin star restaurants throughout the United Kingdom and Canada has died.

Kerby Craig unexpectedly died on June 9, just days before the 10 year anniversary of launching his Japanese fusion burger chain, Ume.

‘Words can barely express our grief,’ a tribute posted to Ume’s social media channel read.

‘He was driven and free-spirited, pursuing his goals with a determination very few people possess.’

The 38-year-old last year successfully overturned a conviction after he was found to have assaulted his girlfriend in a ‘jealous rage’.

He demanded she turn over her phone and accused her of having an affair when she did not do so.  

Craig’s lawyers had cited the immense pressure of Covid and subsequent economic downturn in contributing to the one-off offence.

At the time, the court heard Craig had ‘grabbed a kitchen knife and threatened self-harm’ moments before the incident took place. 

The conviction was overturned but Craig was subject to a two year community corrections order after the offending.

Craig was a celebrated chef in the Sydney food scene and ran a successful burger chain with stores throughout the city.

He first launched his career at just 15 years old, when he dropped out of school and began working under famed Japanese-Australian chef Tetsuya Wakuda.

After a stint in London honing his craft, Craig returned to Sydney and nabbed a job as head chef at Koi in Woolwich, where he earned a total of six hats.

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