The James Beard Foundation is saddened by the news that culinary pioneer George Germon, co-owner with Johanne Killeen of Providence's acclaimed Al Forno, passed away on Tuesday at the age of 70. Before becoming a chef, Germon was a sculptor and was known as a renaissance man, in addition to being a mentor to many. Al Forno gained a national reputation for its pizza, which was grilled over charcoal at extremely high heat (up to 1200 degrees). Germon and Killeen were recipients of the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Northeast in 1993, and Al Forno was nominated for our Outstanding Restaurant Award in 1998, 1999, and 2000. "George's passion for life and ingredients came through his food," said Emily Luchetti, fellow JBF Award winner and chair of the Foundation's board of trustees. "At Al Forno, he and Johanne were pioneers in using regional ingredients from Rhode Island in their traditional Italian recipes. All their desserts were made to order and always worth the wait. I will miss his huge smile."