Charles Michael Rascoll died July 29, 2021, at Bridge Haven Memory Care in Lawrence, Kansas. He was born Aug. 8, 1950, in Oceanside, NY, to Doris Meyer and Thomas Rascoll. He grew up on Long Island and graduated from Baldwin, NY High School. Charlie attended several universities, most notably Kent State, where he was an anti-Vietnam War activist. He worked in restaurants from an early age and was a self-taught chef. At the age of 21, he opened his first restaurant, Top of the Falls, in High Falls, NY. In 1985 after several months of exploring and absorbing the foods and cultures of Europe, he returned to the Hudson Valley and became a Chef/Instructor at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. In 1987 he married Debbie Howe. Their daughter Lucy was born in 1992. Charlie and his family moved to Lawrence in 1994 where he was a founding partner and general manager of WheatFields Bakery and Cafe. He returned to teaching at the CIA in 2000 and was Associate Dean of Global Cuisines at the time of his retirement. In 2012, Charlie & Debbie moved back to Lawrence where they became founding partners in Limestone Pizza Kitchen Bar.
Debbie and Lucy Rascoll currently live in Lawrence. Charlie is also survived by his brother Thomas, his wife Jackie, their daughters Kim, Kristine, Kelly and their families, Charlie’s mother- in-law Wilma, sister-in-law Peggy, her husband Paul, sister-in-law Susan, her husband Galen and their family. Charlie had a unique gift for friendship and a winning smile. He will be missed by many.
Charlie was known for the community he built around great food. He understood that cooking is more than a vocation – it is a way of life, a way to connect with one another. He used this philosophy in his teaching and mentoring of young chefs. He was deeply interested in the relationship between food and culture — how geography, history and politics influence cuisine. Charlie was an early proponent of partnering with farmers and cooking that focused on local, seasonal ingredients.
A memorial celebration will be held at Limestone on Aug 21 for fully vaccinated family & friends.
Contributions can be made in his name to The Alzheimer’s Association in care of Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home.