Dean Corbett, known by many around Louisville as “Deano,” died Saturday. The cause of death, according to media reports citing Gary Fox, event coordinator at Equus, was a heart attack.
Corbett’s career began in Dallas at the Chandler’s Landing Yacht Club and later at the Ram’s Head Restaurant. After these experiences, according to his biography, he realized that a career as a chef was his true calling.
According to his bio, Corbett arrived in Louisville in 1982, climbed through the ranks of the four-star restaurant, Casa Grisanti, and later assumed the sous chef position at Sixth Avenue. Corbett took over the reins of Equus in 1985; opened up Jack’s Lounge, named after his father, in 2000; opened Corbett’s Restaurant in a 19th century mansion in 2007; and then merged Equus and Jack’s in 2010. In 2009, Chef Corbett was one of six chefs to be inducted to the Honorable Order of the Golden Toque.
In November 2017, Corbett’s: An American Place closed after 10 years of service. A month early, the longtime home of the restaurant was listed for sale.
In May 2018, Corbett sold Equus and its sister business, Jack’s Lounge, to Jared Matthews, a longtime partner in Diamond Station, according Equus.
Corbett, who served as the consultant chef of Equus Restaurant & Jack’s Lounge, was “the equivalent of culinary royalty in Louisville, Ky.,” Equus said.
He was beloved for over 30 years not only for his multiple award-winning restaurant, and his lively and humorous appearances on national shows such as NBC’s “The Today Show” and the Cooking Channel’s “Food(ography)”, the restaurant said, Corbett made “giving back to the Louisville community a top priority.”
Corbett helped start several fundraisers benefiting local children and actively supports events benefiting the American Heart Association, APRON Inc., Juvenile Autism, Juvenile diabetes, March of Dimes and Multiple Sclerosis, Equus said.
Corbett is survived by his wife and three sons.