Keith Greene died in Southampton Wednesday. The local chef and popular contestant on Season 2 of Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen was found face down in the surf at Wyandanch Beach by a father and his daughter who called 911 after they spotted his body. Keith was 35 years old and from Hampton Bays. It appears that he went out for a swim in the surf, got caught in a bad spot and drowned. He was the head chef at Schmidt’s Seafood Market in North Sea and Schmidt’s Market in Southampton Village.
Because he was such a fixture in the restaurant community in Southampton, his death has affected a lot of people locally, nearly everyone I know, either met him or knew him from either working at a restaurant he worked at, or eating at a restaurant where he worked. Keith worked at his mother’s restaurant in Southampton, BK’s Southampton Restaurant and Saloon, as well as Barristers, 75 Main, JL East and The Black Buoy.
When you work in the restaurant business all your life on the East End, you get to know a lot of people, and since I’ve heard about his death, everyone from my girlfriend to my neighbors to the people that I say hello to in the morning when I get coffee, have asked me if I heard about his death and how great and hard working of a guy he was.
Keith leaves behind two kids and a wife, and by all accounts, based on what I’ve heard about him from people, he was in a good spot in his life today, and had gone through a lot of struggle when he was younger in terms of finding his way.
I don’t really know what else to say. It’s just so incredibly sad to hear about his death and how many people’s lives he touched.
My deep condolences go out to his family and friends.