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In Memorium – Chef Aaron Leonard McCloud

aaronlmccloudChef Aaron Leonard McCloud, 38, passed away March 5 after a year-long battle with cancer. His wife Linda Szewczyk McCloud, whom he met at Cedar in 2012, shared this background with us because she wanted the FSM community to know “how wonderful he was.”
As a young boy, McCloud showed a great affinity for music, beginning violin instruction at the Suzuki Institute of Michigan at age three. During his early teens, McCloud became a member of the Michigan Youth Symphony at the University of Michigan and studied with the U of M violin department chair. McCloud’s culinary journey began at the age of 16 at Ann Arbor, Michigan’s Gandy Dancer restaurant, where he played violin tableside during Sunday brunches. Realizing he preferred the kitchen, he became Gandy’s dishwasher and quickly moved to cooking on the line — finding his true calling.
After receiving a B.S. in hospitality from the University of Massachusetts, McCloud went on to cooking at The Movable Feast in Ann Arbor, The Plaza Resort and Spa in Daytona, Fla., and Victoria and Albert’s at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. He later relocated to the Washington, DC area to open Aster as Chef de Cuisine, then the Vintage Restaurant Group. After a season as Executive Chef at The Inn at Perry Cabin on Maryland’s eastern shore, McCloud returned to DC to lead the kitchen at Cedar, where he met his wife Linda. He was inducted as an honorary member of the Chane des Rtisseurs. And most recently, he was Executive Chef of Willow Creek Farm in Ashburn, Va. where he was enthusiastic in leading the expansion of an onsite working farm.
A memorial service is planned for May in Northern Virginia.  Donations may be made to The Aaron Leonard McCloud Memorial Scholarship, c/o Interlochen Center for the Arts, PO Box 199, Interlochen, MI 49643.

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