I met Chef John Michael Lerma while working as a producer on Twin Cities Live on KSTP. The author of several cookbooks, State Fair fixture, and award winning pie magician, he quickly became a favorite both of our audience and our staff for his delicious food, big laugh, bear hugs and warm heart. We stayed in touch off and on, mostly through Facebook, in the years after I left KSTP. I was heartbroken to hear of his passing in November of 2014. He leaves behind a loving partner, Chad Olson, and a daughter, Hether.

JML (as we all called him) truly put love into everything he baked. I'm so sad that I'll never see him wowing crowds with cooking demos at the State Fair again, or taste one of his amazing pies, or see that big smile and warm personality on my TV screen. He was truly one of a kind and I hope the angels appreciate all that good pie!

As JML always said -- keep it flakey!