By Joseph Longo
August 01, 2018 at 08:10 PM EDT
HELL'S KITCHEN: CR: Ray Mickshaw / FOX. Copyright 2104 FOX BRoadcasting.
Credit: Ray Mickshaw/FOX

Jessica Vogel, a chef and former contestant on the cooking competition Hell’s Kitchen, died Monday morning at a New Jersey hospital after being treated for colitis, chronic inflammation of the colon. She was 34.

Her fiancé, John Michael Keyser, confirmed Vogel’s death to “We were planning to open a restaurant together,” Keyser said. “My heart is breaking.”

Vogel first appeared on the Fox reality series in 2014, and finished in 12th place. The chef also appeared on the Food Network show Cutthroat Kitchen.

She last worked as the executive chef of the recently closed Black Rebel Burger in Hackensack, N.J., her home state. According to, Vogel seemed to admit to struggling with alcohol in a Medium post last fall. The post has since been deleted.

Credit: Patrick Wymore/FOX

A death notice in the The Star-Ledger of Newark described Vogel as “fearless when it came to work, never backing down from a challenge.”

It added, “She wants the message left behind not to be ‘sex, drugs, and Foie Gras,’ but rather the importance of appreciating your talents, always working hard to improve, but to never forget that it is the loving heart that truly changes the world.”

Vogel is survived by her mother, Donna Bruchmann; sister, Caitlin Johnstone; and father Mark Vogel.