Chef José 'Chichi' Barcacel, Stamford Native, Dies At 34: 'He Was Destined For Greatness'

The family of a 34-year-old New Haven chef is shining a light on mental health following his death.

Jose Barcacel.

Jose Barcacel.

Photo Credit: Hov Barcacel Facebook

José "Chichi" Gabriel Barcacel died on Friday, Nov. 17 after what his family said was many years of battling mental health issues, according to his obituary and a GoFundMe launched for family.

"My brother Jose we called him chichi struggled and battled mentally for a large portion of his life his fight lasted so long because of the fierce love he had for his family," Barcacel's brother, Xavier, writes on Facebook.

Barcacel was raised in Stamford and attended Norwalk Community College, before going on to become a professional chef, his obituary says. At 12 years old, he told his mom he wanted to learn how to cook, ultimately becoming a professional chef, according to his obituary.

"All I wanted him to know was how much I believed in him," Xavier's post continues, "and I always felt that he was destined for the greatest things in life if he could put his mind to it because he was the real prodigy in this family."

"Unfortunately, he lost the battle but fortunately he doesn't have to be in this sad, cold world anymore," his obituary says. "José is in a better place where he can be truly happy."

Services are set for Saturday, Nov. 24, at the Howard K. Hill Funeral Services - New Haven. Click here for details and click here to donate.

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