Rest In Peace Randall

1by Steven Doyle

Today I read where my very best friend passed away. To claim Randall Copeland as my best friend is selfish as he was a friend to everyone he ever met. For the past few hours I have been pouring over photos of Randall, and messages on text and Facebook that I might be able to share today. The task is far too difficult.

Randall embraced life and had a golden heart. He was talented in so many ways including his skills in the kitchen and had a passion for music. His guitar collection exceeded his means at times, but that is how Randall was.          


For those that have known Randall and I more than a few years know about the tremendous Super Bowl story. We laughed about that evening just a few days ago at a dinner party he hosted at his home. He was legend like that.

Another day Randall spoke about was when he performed a cooking demo at the State Fair three years ago. Randall invited me to be his host for the evening, and planned to hang out afterwards with a few other friends, including chef Chad Bowden. I was writing for the Observer at the time and we headed out to the fairgrounds afterwards. That evening I interviewed the people at Fletcher’s, the corny dog people, and Randall asked if he could fry up corny dogs. They allowed him to do this and he stood behind the booth cooking for the longest time. Later he told me it was one of his career highlights. Forget about opening his own restaurant; forget the fabulous  meals he made in Vegas. Randall was thrilled to make people happy.

corny dog

I will miss the extremely late nights playing the guitar, the absurd nights at the Goat, the crying sessions we had over women we loved, the great meals, the hopes and dreams we scattered across each night we shared together.

Randall had huge plans in the works for his restaurant Ava as well as some corporate workings with a major sausage brand that he was excited about. For Randall, he will ever be known as one of the grandfathers of the farm-to-table movement  in Dallas with a select few others such as Graham Dodds. What a terrible loss for our city.

The stories I have like these are endless, and for those that knew Randall best, so is the friendship. I miss you terribly, Big Cat.


Filed under Crave

18 responses to “Rest In Peace Randall

  1. susan

    So very sorry about your friend.

  2. Skye

    Thank you, Steve, that was perfect.

  3. Kim

    Oh no. Words cannot say how shocking and sad. Sorry for the loss of your dear friend. Prayers for his family. You are so right that he was a friend to all that he met. Rest in peace, Randall.

  4. Monica

    Very nice memorial. Can’t believe he’s gone…

  5. Elizabeth

    Beautifully said.

  6. Jim

    Well said. Sorry for your loss of such a dear friend, Steve.

  7. Adam West

    Randall old pal, there are no words to describe the astoundingly painful feeling when I first heard the news. From our days in culinary school, to our trip to Vegas, to our trip to Napa, to our late night talks about food… Your life was truly a blessing to all who knew you and you are already dearly missed. The food community will never be the same in Dallas. My heart and prayers go out to your family. Rest in peace buddy. I love you man.

  8. Fuckin’ miss you Big Cat, I’ll meet you in that Pecan Lodge in the sky one day…

  9. Well written Steve. Randall and I were becoming great friends. Thanks for introducing us. We all are blessed to have spent any time with an amazing person,..,……….one love

  10. MCB08

    Very well put. So sorry for your loss.

  11. Great words. The loss is hard to grasp.

  12. Maribeth

    I am so incredibly sad to hear this! Jeff Pappas and I met Randall when he was one of eight chefs that were involved in the final “48th night” featuring an 8 course dinner at the charity pop up restaurant 48 Nights in 2010. We also ate at Ava and absolutely loved it. RIP Randall. So sorry for your loss Steve. Hugs to you.

  13. Kevin

    I was visiting with him at his home just yesterday Steven. He definitely considered you a best friend and blessing in his life as well! He wowed us with his energy and expertise alongside Graham in the early days of Bolsa on Friday and Saturday Nights!!! His smile and zest for life is missed by many. RIP Randall.

  14. Bud carmichael

    This has been like loosing one of my son’s. GOD BLESS. I WILL MISS YOU!!

  15. Rachel Jeske

    First time that I met Randall was this past Saturday while working at Culpepper Steakhouse. The first, and sadly, the last, thing he said to me was that he liked my danskos…

  16. Rachel Jeske

    I apologize for any confusion that went along with my comment. I am Rachel Jeske’s daughter, that was not my mother commenting. Once again, I apologize for any confusion that may have occurred.

  17. Thank you for giving me a glimpse,the Fletcher’s story is wonderful.

  18. Joy ZhangJoy

    He was loved by so many for his incredible gift for food and connecting with people, heart to heart. I am very sorry for your loss Steve, praying for Randall’s friends and family during this difficult time.

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