Portland restaurants serve up fried chicken specialties in memory of Chef Cameron Addy

Portland restaurants offer fried chicken specialties as a fundraiser for the family of Cameron Addy, a beloved chef who has rocked the kitchens of some of the city’s best restaurants.

Addy, 44, died of a heart attack while jogging on Wednesday August 5, according to longtime friend, St. Jack chef Aaron Barnett. Addy is survived by his wife, Linda, and 13 year old daughter, Ella. A GoFundMe page created for the family has already raised over $ 28,000.

Addy, originally from Georgia, worked at Mint and Papa Haydn’s before he and Linda opened their own restaurant, Belly, northeast of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in 2008. After this restaurant closed in 2011, Addy ran the kitchens as a chef at several of Portland’s top restaurants including Ava Gene’s, St. Jack and La Moule. Last year, he took over from Lovely Rita, the restaurant at the Hoxton hotel.

Next door, Addy ran her own pop-up, King Leroy, serving pulled pork sandwiches, crepe cut fries, and other iconic Southeast Coast dishes. He and Barnett also played with the opening of a fried chicken sandwich restaurant, Pretty Penny, kicking off the concept smoothly with an Instagram page and a “Chefwich” special at Lardo’s.

Until the end of the month, at least 15 Portland restaurants will be serving fried chicken specialties to add to the fundraiser, including Holler, Tope, Smokehouse Tavern, St. Jack, La Moule, Laurelhurst Market, Big’s Chicken, Lazy Susan, Oui Chippy, Eem, XLB, Stammtisch, Kachka and Division St. Grocers, as well as London Plane and Post Alley Pizza in Seattle. Lardo will be bringing back the Pretty Penny Sandwich – still their best-selling chefwich to date – as a special starting this week.

In a statement, Linda Addy said her husband learned the first lessons in his trade from his grandfather, who taught him to look after the tomatoes and hams hanging in the barn, and from his father, who owned a cafeteria and a drive-thru chili dog service.

According to Barnett, Addy “was one of those guys where you couldn’t be in a bad mood or angry if he was next to you.”

“The guy was so funny,” Barnett said. “And the busier he was, the more he would increase the fun.” He was just this amazing character with a low ego and great talent who was able to bring the whole room with him. He loved Coors Light. He liked southern cuisine. And to see the city doing something positive and eating fried chicken sandwiches on his behalf, I think that would have made him happy.

Michael russell, mrussell@oregonian.com, @tdmrussell

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Sandy A. Greer

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