Heaven gains its newest chef

Beloved son, brother, fiancé and friend: Sean Blakeslee dies at 45


By this time, everyone above has undoubtedly indulged in the best steak they ever had, assuming, of course, only the finest ingredients, including prime organic meat, are now all readily available to Blakeslee, who recently passed away due to complications after surgery.

Blakeslee, 45, was known as a perfectionist, funny and loving. Most recently, he was part owner of the South Country Tavern in East Patchogue, which had closed its doors in March due to COVID-19, and currently, he was beginning to renovate Mario’s in East Setauket as the soon-to-be new manager and executive chef.

His first chef job out of school was at One if by Land, Two if by Sea in Manhattan, and formerly he belonged to Rare 650 in Syosset, The Crow’s Nest in Montauk, CU29 in Sayville, Mazzei’s in Bayport, The Oar in Patchogue and Porters on the Lane in Bellport as the executive chef, and at some establishments, part owner.

He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park in 1995 as an early-‘90s Patchogue-Medford alum with aspirations of one day becoming an instructor there. He resided in Smithtown with his fiancée and the love of his life, Jamie Aridas; the couple planned to wed this coming June.

“Sean was great company; he had the best sense of humor and kept me laughing for hours,” Jamie managed through tears.

He is also survived by his parents, Jean Blakeslee of Arizona and Robert Blakeslee of Florida, as well as his sister, Vanessa Blakeslee of East Patchogue, and brother and sister-in-law Robert and June Blakeslee and their 4-year-old twins, Olivia and Meadow. He is met in heaven by his close cousin, Courtney Blakeslee Cush, who died at age 34 some 10 years ago, and most likely the late and great Anthony Bourdain, his idol of whom he shares the middle name Michael.

Born on Jan. 3, 1975, Blakeslee and his family grew up in Patchogue on Conklin Avenue. In his life, he was an avid fisherman who loved the outdoors and frequently skied, but above all his passion was cooking. His sister shared her sentiment of his favorite meal to cook: a good steak, but only if cut from organic beef.

“It was always the best of everything,” she noted of his cooking style. “He always loved to cook. He wanted to be a chef since he was 6 years old. He would always help cook meals at home and was very good at it.”

In addition to his life’s work as an accomplished chef, he was known to lend a helping hand, often offering consultation to new restaurant owners or teaching inexperienced and aspiring chefs, or even a family member or two.

Vanessa narrowed down the things she would miss most about her younger brother to simple phone conversations, sharing a meal and having a chef in the kitchen; oh, and his endless supply of recipes, of course.

“He was just an all-around great person, with a warm and caring heart and a great personality,” she concluded, adding that he always had a smile on his face, especially when indulging in a great meal, likely with friend and pastry chef Chris Anastasiadis.

“Sean epitomized the word ‘chef,’ not just by his skills, which were otherworldly, but by his desire to push on, barriers be damned,” Anastasiadis recalled of his late friend during the services. “I shall miss Sean deeply for the rest of the days of my life.”

He passed on Nov. 21, suddenly. His services were held at Robertaccio Funeral Home in Patchogue, and he was buried near Courtney in Woodland Cemetery on Station Road in Bellport.

For those who want to remember chef Blakeslee, you can do so by indulging in a perfectly cooked steak, paired with a nice glass of wine. Pour it high, and toast him.


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