John Edward Moore, age 64, of Ione and Toluca Lake, California, passed away Thursday, August 15, 2019. John was born in Sheffield, England on January 25, 1955, a son of Margaret (Smyth) and the late Henry Moore.
John is survived by his wife of 24 years, Sondra West-Moore of Ione; mother, Margaret Moore of Highcliffe-on-Sea, England; son Ben and Kari Moore of Germantown, Maryland, son James Moore of San Francisco, step-daughter Alison Sudol of New York and London; sisters and brothers-in-law, Angela and Chris Walker of Wolverhampton, England, Geraldine and Jeremy Johnson of Basingstoke, England, Christina Moore of Orlando, Florida, and Henrietta and Martin Flynn of Leighton Buzzard, England; his many nieces and nephews; his grandchildren, Dylan, Macy and Hadley Moore; and his extended family, mother-in-law Teddy West and brother-in-law Bill West and family.
John grew up in Sheffield, England, attending Grace Dieu Manor prep school and Ratcliff College high school, followed by the University of Sheffield Hotel College and University of Manchester Hollins College. After obtaining his degrees, John worked in England at resort hotels, then moved to New York City in 1978 to work as Executive Sous Chef for the Windows on the World restaurant at the top of the World Trade Center, which was the highest volume luxury restaurant in the world, serving 900 covers per meal service. John then became Executive Chef at the Parker Meridian Hotel, during which the establishment was awarded the highest rating of any restaurant in the city by the New York Times.
Growing up in the north of England, John dreamed of the sunny days of California, so in 1983, he and his family moved to Los Angeles where John began work at the prestigious Los Angeles Music Center as Executive Chef and was then promoted to Director of Food and Beverage. While there, John created cuisines and directed catering for prestigious Music Center activities such as the annual opening of the Los Angeles opera season, but also for exclusive events; the 1983 Royal Gala for HRH Queen Elizabeth II, the VIP catering for the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympic Games, and the Academy Awards. In 1987 John became the Vice President of Operations for Manask Food Services, handling all special event catering for the top 25 law firms in Los Angeles, Universal Pictures, Lorimar, CBS, and the Bel Age Hotel. Many celebrities, including the Prince of Luxembourg, praised John’s cuisine above all others.
From 1991 to 2008 John helped found and then ran the Olympic Collection Banquet and Conference Center in West Los Angeles, where he created menus from every corner of the globe, filling 9 ballrooms per day with spectacular events. During these many dinners and galas, John enjoyed weddings the most. In 2002, when a wedding minister failed to show up, John quickly obtained his state license to marry them and performed the service. From that time on, John performed hundreds of weddings, happily helping to unite couples from different backgrounds, cultures and religions. He wrote beautiful wedding ceremonies to embrace both the bride and groom’s family traditions, saying he felt it was a privilege to help a couple on their happiest day, and that each wedding reaffirmed his belief in love and marriage. During this time John also actively supported his daughter’s music career, building a rehearsal and recording studio in the garage at home, attending every show enthusiastically, and was a trusted roadie, lugging equipment and providing technical support.
In 2001, John was chosen to cater and supervise the 1700th anniversary of the proclamation of Christianity as the state religion of Armenia, with the consecration of a new Cathedral, St. Gregory the Illuminator, in Yerevan. The event would bring an unprecedented number of Holy and World Leaders together from many lands: Pope John Paul II from the Roman Catholic Church, the Russian Patriarch, the Armenian Catholic Patriarchate, the Egyptian Pope and Patriarch, and the Presidents of Russia and Armenia, supported by 800 cardinals and bishops from all over the world, along with their security entourages. John flew to Armenia early on September 10, 2001, and then next day, on September 11, 2001, the world stopped during the tragic attacks in New York, Washington DC and Pennsylvania. All planes were grounded, but the activities leading up to the cathedral celebration had to take place despite the fact that John’s additional chefs and support staff could not fly to get to Armenia. John went in person to each American hotel in Yerevan, hired staff into service and taught them to cook his way for the next 12 days to provide three gourmet meals a day for the dignitaries, somehow making the 11th century Vatican kitchen work. John received accolades from the world leaders and blessings from the Pope. Understandably, upon returning to the US, John declared “I’m done!” with cooking for professional events and from that point on he enjoyed cooking for his family only.
In 2010, John began to pursue his lifelong passion for trees and climbing, studying rigging, practicing complex knots, becoming an arborist and never happier than when he was up 50’ or more in a majestic tree for fun, exercise, and work. In 2015, when John’s father-in-law Col. Fraser West passed away, John moved to Westhaven ranch in Ione to help with ranch operations and care for his mother-in-law and brother-in-law. Over the next five years the ranch would see an amazing transformation as John repaired area after area all over the 90-year-old ranch house and property. He also helped his wife with the Texas Longhorn business, learning to ride, gather, rope, brand, and vaccinate cattle, conquering walking in cowboy boots during the process. He drove the walnut orchard harvest to processing each year. Each night at the ranch, John prepared a gourmet, healthy meal for the family.
In 2014 John joined the Ione Valley Land, Air and Water Defense Alliance, (LAWDA) LLC, a grass roots organization formed to stop an unnecessary strip mine quarry and asphalt plant from being built just outside Ione. John organized volunteers, walking door-to-door and obtained thousands of registered voter signatures for the referendum to be on the ballot to stop the project.
When John Moore passed away, he was doing what he loved best, being of service. Friends and family are invited to attend a celebration of life at Daneri Mortuary Chapel in Jackson, California, at 11:00 am on Saturday, September 21, 2019.
In lieu of flowers please donate to the causes John was passionate about: the Ione Valley LAWDA LLC, 10300 Dutschke Rd., Ione, CA 95640 www.ionevalleylawda.com or IUCN Rue Mauverney 28, 1196 Gland, Switzerland http://www.iucn.org. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.danerimortuary.com and signing the guest book.