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Las Vegas and the culinary world lost one of its favorite star chefs early this morning when “Iron Chef” star Kerry Simon passed away at Nathan Adelson Hospice. He was still young and handsome at 60 years of age.

The rock and roll chef who had restaurants at Palms Place, Harrah’s and downtown at Carson Kitchen had fought a brutal, 2-year debilitating fight against the hideous brain disease Multiple System Atrophy. He didn’t smoke or drink alcohol, preferring his favorite juices regimen.

Earlier this year, the Maloof family restructured its debt, and Leonard Green & Partners and TPG Capital became the hotel’s majority owners, leaving the family with just 2 percent of the property.

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Maloof played a central role in the transformation of De Kalb County from bedroom Republican suburb to the urbanized Democratic stronghold it is today.

As De Kalb CEO from 1985 to 1992, commission chairman from 1980-84 and a commissioner from 1974-78, Mr.

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I filmed TV segments with Kerry over the years and will never forget the incredible breakfast he prepared for my cameras at Motley Crue rocker Vince Neil’s home here.

Kerry was even flown to London by members of Led Zeppelin to cater their concert run in the British capital.

Maloof had been unstoppable since November 2001, when the city was looking for an exit from the “Family Vegas” strategy of the 1990s, and he provided the blueprint by opening the Palms.

He had just opened the Fantasy Tower at his Palms Hotel, complete with such only-in-Vegas accommodations as the Hardwood Suite (with its in-room basketball court), the Pearl theater and the world’s only Playboy Club.

Per his request much earlier, Elizabeth Blau, his business partner and friend of 18 years, brought two Tibetan monks to the hospice early this morning to say bedside prayers as he slipped away.

It was back in December 2013 that I wrote the first story of Kerry’s diagnosis with MSA.

Maloof was hailed as a wunderkind—maybe the next Steve Wynn.

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