Fans of the show Chopped on Food Network may be familiar with former contestant Taylor Hurt. The chef from Brooklyn was originally from Mississippi and had big dreams of making a name for herself in the cooking world. Not only did some of her work get featured in a cookbook, but she also worked at a few different restaurants in NYC.
Sadly, on Nov. 29, 2020, Taylor died at 30 years old. At this time, the cause of her death is unknown. And on a June 2021 episode of Chopped, a message at the end said that the episode was in her memory.
So, what happened to Taylor?
Currently, the cause of Taylor's death is still unknown. Her family hasn't publicly spoken about her death. In fact, the message following that episode of Chopped was the only confirmation for many that Taylor had passed away. Others may have speculated as to why she wasn't on social media, but that may not have helped.
Unlike so many other people today, Taylor just wasn't as active on social media. Her Instagram isn't verified and the last post on the account is from Nov. 19, 2019. There, she shares that she was featured in Katie Dixon's cookbook Be Nourished.
"Seems like just yesterday we were opening @thebirdhousecafe and working on this recipe," says the caption of Taylor's post. "So proud of you @chefkatiedixon... it means so much, to me, to be acknowledged in your cookbook! You are the best mentor and friend, thank you for always supporting and believing in me. I love you big!" Taylor ends the post by encouraging followers to buy the book.
There's one small clue as to how Taylor may have died.
Because Taylor's family hasn't said anything about how she died, many people are left wondering. But one Facebook user named Brandi Lott shared that Taylor may have died from addiction. In a recent post, Brandi shared a picture of her TV screen saying that she watched the episode in Taylor's memory with a friend.
"It was truly a blessing to get to see you again Taylor M. Hurt," the caption of Brandi's post said. "You looked so confident on Chopped and I am so proud of you! Addiction is a horrible horrible thief!! We love you big Tater!!" As of now, there's no way to confirm that this is true and there's no way to say how this person knows Taylor or anything about what happened.
Taylor's partner at the time, Paige Pirtle, is still listed as such on her Facebook, and yesterday Paige changed her profile picture to one of them together. She also left a comment on Taylor's Facebook on June 5, 2021.
"We all missed you being here and bringing the fun and the good eats," the comment says in part. "There is a constant missing element when there’s any family event. I love you. We love you. And we all miss you and talk about you every day."