Record: Campania Was Sold Days Before Chef's Suicide
According to court documents obtained by The Record, Joe Cerniglia and his business partners sold CWB1, the company that operated Campania, eight days before the chef jumped from the George Washington Bridge.
On Sept. 16, Cerniglia and his business partners, Kevin Wynn and Riccardo Botti, sold CWB1—the company that operated Campania—to Campania Holding Corp. for $288,000, The Record said, citing court documents.
Cerniglia–named one of the state's top five chefs by Inside Jersey magazine this past January–was found floating dead in the Hudson River on Sept. 24 after he jumped from the George Washington Bridge. He was 39. Around the country, Cerniglia was best known for Campania's 2007 appearance on "Kitchen Nightmares," a Fox reality show in which British celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay tries to rescue struggling restaurants by restructuring their operations.
Campania Holding Corp. is managed by Philip Neuman, who claims in court filings that Campania may be forced to close if his company is not paid a $600,000 death benefit.; CWB1 took out the life insurance policy on Cerniglia in 2005, according to The Record.
A resident of Wayne, Cerniglia won Chef Central's Bergen County Ultimate Chef Competition in 2008, was a former executive chef at the Gallagher's Steakhouse chain in New York and bought Campania six years ago. The restaurant was awarded with the distinction of "New Jersey's Best Meatball" by Bergen County in 2007.