Some tragic news: Late Thursday, Sam Beall reportedly died in a skiing accident in Colorado at the age of 39. He was born on Walland, Tennessee's beloved Blackberry Farm — a 4,200-acre Relais & Châteaux resort, working farm, and food paradise — and after working at the French Laundry, Cowgirl Creamery, and various wineries, he took over Blackberry operations from his parents, Sandy and Kreis Beall. Beall helped modernize the 40-year-old farm by opening two new on-property restaurants and earning several high-profile awards, include three from the James Beard Foundation.
Beall is survived by his wife and five children. The group released a statement that reads in part: "The Beall family and the Blackberry Farm team are understandably shocked by this heartbreaking news about the man they loved dearly as a son, brother, father, friend and host. They welcome the thoughts and prayers of all those whose lives were touched by Sam’s hospitable nature, visionary leadership and adventurous spirit."
There's been an outpouring of support from some of the country's best chefs and writers:
So sad to hear of the passing of Sam Beall, Blackberry Farms. Thoughts and prayers are with his family.— Tom Colicchio (@tomcolicchio) February 26, 2016
Sam Beall imagined a place where life tasted sweeter and time moved slower and everything felt https://t.co/WOvrwniUro— Peter Jon Lindberg (@peterjlindberg) February 26, 2016
Tragic loss for this world. Sam Beall you will never be forgotten. Our love and condolences to his family and @blackberryfrm— michelle bernstein (@chefmichy) February 26, 2016