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Young foodie Scott Crane, who inspired chef Rodelio Aglibot's charity, has died; a Shawn Koch footnote

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Scott Crane, the young Northbrook man who inspired Chicago chef Rodelio Aglibot to leave his high-profile NYC restaurant gig and start a charity, has died.

Crane, 23, a foodie with a cookbook in the works who suffered from a rare form of muscular dystrophy, died Saturday -- just three days before an event to launch Aglibot's charity, In Chef's Hands: Food Therapy for the Soul.

The concept behind the charity is to connect chefs with people with special needs for individualized, day-in-the-kitchen experiences -- which is how Aglibot got to know Crane last fall. Crane had been cooking regularly in hospice care with a volunteer who also had a culinary degree; the two were even working on a cookbook. Crane's cousin asked Aglibot if he would give Crane a behind-the-scenes look at Sunda, and the two clicked.

Aglibot has so far recruited more than a dozen Chicago chefs to volunteer their time to In Chef's Hands.

Tuesday's party is still on at Old Town Social, 455 W. North, from 6 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $25.

Chicago chefs mobilizing to do good is nothing new, and brings to mind former Paramount Room bar manager Shawn Koch, who last year was diagnosed with a rare brain cancer. His restaurant industry brethren were quick to respond. In August, then-Lockwood chef Phillip Foss threw a boozy bash for Koch at the Palmer House Hilton. A few weeks later, Piccolo Sogno's Tony Priolo held a benefit brunch. Most recently, it was chef Chris Curren's turn at Blue13.

Koch is now in hospice care and, as his wife Katie wrote today, "is just patiently waiting to cross into his new world of eternal happiness."

Update: Koch passed away around 4:30 p.m. Monday, his wife said.

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Janet Rausa Fuller

Sun-Times Food editor Janet Rausa Fuller is always thinking about her next meal.

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