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Brooks Hamaker (Mayhaw Man) Steps Down


Chris Amirault
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As we just announced here, Brooks Hamaker (Mayhaw Man) is stepping down from his role as an eGullet Society volunteer. During his tenure, Brooks hosted in forums and provided support for several of the Society's development projects. Brooks will continue to participate as a member and will carry the emeritus staff designation, but we'd like to take this opportunity to thank him for his service.

Please use this topic for food-related reminiscences about Brooks's tenure. For personal notes of thanks, please use the personal messenger system.

I'll start by saying the obvious: Brooks's powerful and insightful posts about the impact of Katrina on the food and lives of the New Orleans community were unique contributions to the Society that I'll never forget. Though he was on the wrong side, I suppose he deserves some credit for starting that cake vs pie topic. Finally, I was ever so grateful when he humored this ill-informed Yankee and contributed with panache to the gumbo cook-off.

Thanks, Brooks.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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It is not often I encounter soemone who loves okra as much as I do. I think Brooks might just love it more then me. :raz:

I loved his blog, as it showed a beautiful small-town way of life (right next-door to the city).

The fact that he is still cooking out of his grandmother's pot (gumbo, once, I think) remided me of how special it is that I have some of my grandmother's kitchen equipment.

I look forward to reading anything that Mayhaw Man might contribute in the future.

Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat as becomes you and be silent. Epicetus

Amanda Newton

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Brooks is one of the most colorful characters to ever grace these pages, and his foodblog was one of the most memorable. Like many Louisianans, he loves his food and drink, and he vividly explained to us how food and drink is part of the culture of the community he loves and calls home. There's no way in a short post that I could possibly give justice to his unique perspectives, vivid and heartfelt writing, or the scope and high quality of his contributions to egullet.com and the eGullet Society. Or for that matter, his decency and integrity. But at least I mentioned them.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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For those of you who haven't met Brooks, he's as gracious and colorful in person as he is online. He also knows more people in the food world than just about anyone I know.

Fortunately, just because a staff member decides to step down from the demanding work of the eG Society doesn't mean he will be leaving us (and folks, it is quite time consuming, but rewarding). On the contrary, I'm confident Brooks will be even more colorful than ever with his contributions on these forums. So Brooks, knock yourself out and have fun!

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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Thanks to everyone. Sadly, colorful doesn't pay the bills and my outside, sort of money making persuits have interfered greatly with my duties at eGullet. Since the hurricane, as with virtually everyone down here, my life has changed dramatically-some for the good, some for the not so good, some for the just plain complicated. One of the things that will always remain true is that, when things were really upside down in late 2005, people here helped me believe that there are some good people out there in the world. I received offers of places to stay, plane tickets for my family, and a list of other things that were just hard for me to believe anyone would offer purely out of kindness-but offer they did. I'll never forget that. Ever. Also, many eGulleteers have been frequent visitors and vocal supporters of our not so fair city since the hurricane and that has been important to all of us here. Coming here, seeing what's up (or down-for good, probably) and going home and reporting to friends and neighbors is the single most important thing that any individual can do for our city right now. There is no way that anyone can possibly understand the scope of the damage without seeing it first hand. Those aren't just photo ops that you see on tv-that goes on for miles and miles and miles and then some.

My association with eGullet has been a good one for me and I believe has been good for eGullet, as well. I've had fun, I've enjoyed working on a number of major changes here that have truly improved the site, and I've managed to build some friendships that are way beyond just the electronic, one dimensional ones that ofter occur online. That fact alone makes me pleased that I have been associated with this place for as long as I have.

I'll probably be a more frequent poster now, as I don't have to feel so guilty about posting when I should be doing something more work related. I'm looking forward to seeing eGullet grow and prosper and I'm sure that it will.

I'm also sure that okra is the perfect pod and that, someday, everyone will come to the realization that cake is indeed much better than pie when given a good piece of pie and a good piece of cake. Those are just the facts. I'll be here to defend them.

Thanks again for everything to everyone,

Brooks

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Thank you for your years of service and wonderful posts, Mayhaw Man! I can only echo the postive things that others have made about your contributions. Your stories and knowledge about life in New Orleans and the area have been very special. Thank you also for sharing your knowledge and emotion after Katrina; I'm sure it has not been easy to do that; even from a time perspective. It will be great if you find more time to post!

My initial Mayhaw Man encounter was on the first thread that I started on eGullet. I was looking for information on the net regarding soup recipe ideas and ran into the eGullet forums. In my first thread querying for "Good Thanksgiving Soup" ideas, Mayhaw Man replied with one of his family traditions: New Orleans Artichoke-Oyster soup. I haven't made it yet, but it's one of those dishes that I had never even heard about before but now hold as something special to look forward to someday. Thank you!

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Changes, changes. And time rolls on.

My heart always quickens when I see "Mayhaw Man" as a contributor to any thread, and I do hope this new avenue will increase the opportunity for more time to participate.

The coverage of New Orleans, before/during/now, the quick wit and easy style, the recipes and the parties, the confablations re: okra and cake and the stalwart defense of both, the downhome and the uptown---we can depend on Brooks for all those.

And I'll always remember and return to the pictures of that fabulous lawn party---I STILL wanna know how you turned out that beautiful aspic-topped pate, perfect and smooth, shining like a new Buick on the plate.

And, of course: CAKE :wub:

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Many blessings to you Brooks and I look forward to ding with you one day.

Ding? Did I say Ding? You see, what I meant to say was dining...dining as in having a leisurely dinner with friends...around a dining room table...such as one would find in a restaurant or a dining room in someone's home. :laugh:

Madness, pure unadulterated madness.

Edited by The Cynical Chef (log)

John Malik

Chef/Owner

33 Liberty Restaurant

Greenville, SC

www.33liberty.com

Customer at the carving station: "Pardon me but is that roast beef rare?"

Apprentice Cook Malik: "No sir! There's plenty more in the kitchen!"

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...someday, everyone will come to the realization that cake is indeed much better than pie when given a good piece of pie and a good piece of cake. Those are just the facts. I'll be here to defend them.

Anyone who has ever had a good piece of Lane Cake knows this. Pie can never be that good. It can be good, but never THAT good.

Born Free, Now Expensive

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Many blessings to you Brooks and I look forward to ding with you one day.

John,

I'm all about dinging! I'll do it with you anytime.

Rachel,

You know, I just realized that I never revealed the aspic recipe. I'll try to get that done over the weekend. I totally forgot about it. Sorry about that. Katrina Brain is an insidious thing when coupled with my already forgetful nature.

And, really, talking about the storm, in whatever medium that presents itself, is a duty and an honor. So many here have no voice and being able, even in some small way, to help let people know what is going on down here is important.

Ludja,

You really should make that soup. It's pretty swell and crazy rich. It's just right on a cold winter's night when you really want something satisfying, filling and warm. Oysters when combined with the slightly acidic flavors of the artichoke and the smoothness of the cream are crazy good. You can't have too many oysters in there.

Malarkey,

I honestly believe that when you get up there and St Pete's having some trouble tallying up the score and finds that it's close he'll have a kind of "deciding" question. Cake or pie would be just as good as any, I think.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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I understand how much work is still to be done. Our summer is filled with cleaning up property in Cameron. I'm glad you'll still be with us Brooks, you helped me a lot before/during/after Rita and I know how your heart breaks as you drive through N.O.. I've been there several times since and have done my best for my friends and family...all who are now back in rebuilt homes and making the best of things. It's hard, as most of them are teachers. It's a community rebuilding, and I've seen a lot of good from it. My friends who are in nursing are having a bad time. It'll be better in the end, I hope and pray.

I know the people of Cameron have preserverred (sp?) (Brooks! couldn't you at least have gotton us a spell check while you were on the board!!) And I know the parishes' of New Orleans, Jefferson, as well as the Mississippi coast are still sawing, hammering and nailing, as we are here.

Good going.

Patty

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Thanks, Brooks, for all you have done!

And, I don't care what you say, but cilantro is good in gumbo, and there's nothing like a swim in a lake (actually a dip, not a swim) in a lake in Northern MN in May when the water's up to 45 degrees!

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Brooks:

I sincerely hope, as others have pointed out, that this merely means you'll have more time to post. I always look forward to your wit and wisdom here, and it just wouldn't have been the same without you.

Your post-Katrina coverage was a touchstone for those of us that were merely watching it on CNN with moistened eyes and heavy hearts. You made it real for me, and for that I'll be forever grateful. Should I ever be fortunate enough to make it to your neck of the woods, you'll be the first to know it. I'd enjoy nothing more than your company for libations of your choosing... :wub:

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Brooks,

It's been an honor to serve alongside of you here. The way you've comported yourself has set an example for all us other staffers. And you've added some of the most unique and important content these forums hold and for that, so many of us are truly grateful.

This news is a blow. Yes, life goes on and change is inevitable but the eGS will miss your assistance greatly. Like others here, I really do hope this leads to us seeing more great writing from you. That would certainly be a silver lining.

Best wishes,

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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Brooks, I have enjoyed reading everything you've ever written. Two things will always stand out. First, your gumbo recipe. It choked me up on the first spoonful - it was EXACTLY the taste I'd had as a little girl, and never since. Thankfully some NO expats opened a cafe/store here in Toronto and I can now obtain crawfish, tasso and file. The gumbo recipe remains a favourite in our home.

Secondly, your posts after Katrina were heartbreaking, touching, poignant and hopeful all at once. Rarely moved to tears, those posts did. Thank you so very much for sharing your experience.

My continued best wishes for you and your families health and happiness.

Oh, and third -- I finally tasted Abita Springs beer last year! woo hoo!

Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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Brooks

Untill we meet again......Food show NYC 2007?

I really did just find this quote today while going sideways looking for something else.....

""And more importantly-do you like bacon? (I base all personal relationships on the answer to this question )

--------------------

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man""

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

My Webpage

garden state motorcyle association

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