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December 29, 2011 at 1:33 PM

Christina Choi, Seattle culinary artist, dies at 34

Christina Choi stands behind the counter at her Eastlake eatery Nettletown, which closed in August. (Photo by Dean Rutz / The Seattle Times)

When Christina Choi’s short-lived but much-applauded Eastlake restaurant, Nettletown, closed in August, fans mourned the loss. Today, those who knew Choi as one of the bright lights in Seattle’s food community mourn her passing. Choi died due to complications from a brain aneurysm, diagnosed Dec. 12.

“Today we lost our sister, our daughter, our best friend,” her family wrote Dec. 28 on the blog they’ve been keeping through her diagnosis, a long and difficult surgery and what they had hoped would be her recovery process. “We surrounded her with love, the way she surrounded us with love.”

The Seattle native, 34, was a graduate of Seattle Central Community College’s culinary program, co-founder of Foraged & Found Edibles and a familiar face from restaurants throughout the city where she’s lent her talent over the years.

“This is a huge loss,” said her friend Jason Stratton, chef at Spinasse and Artusi on Capitol Hill. “She was a person closely aligned with and intertwined with so much of what is wonderful with the Seattle food scene right now.”

“She taught me a lot from a culinary standpoint,” recalls Dave Sanford, who lent a hand at Nettletown and relied on Choi for advice as he prepared to open his own restaurant, Belle Clementine, in Ballard. “I think about her often when I’m in the kitchen, and I know I always will. Christina was an amazing woman. She came after life with a huge amount of gusto, and the only thing I can take away from this situation is that we should all do that. She would have wanted us to do that.”

People around Seattle react to the news of Choi’s passing:

Comments | More in Arts & Entertainment, General news | Topics: Choi, cullinary, restaurant

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