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Dave the Cook

Steven Shaw

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I can't begin to try and explain the myriad ways my life would be different had I not made Steven's acquaintance. His friendship and guidance changed my life and career for the better. I shall pay my respects, but it will never measure up to the true level of respect I have for him, his work, his work ethic and his unbridled joy and passion for all things food and drink related. I'll hug our mutual friends. People I'd never have known had he not enriched my life so much. I hope he knows I'm amongst the many that owe him a debt that can neither be quantified nor repaid.

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Thank you to Steve for enriching my life.  Not only have I learned much here, but I have made friends and I am grateful to him.  My thoughts are with his family and with his friends.

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The last time I saw Steven was on a sunny and very hot day in Manhattan in June 2003. He was giving me instructions about which buses to catch to get across town. Before he left me to get back to his apartment on the Upper East Side, he said 'You owe it to yourself and to us to write more'. Less than a year later I'd quit my job and started my career as a freelance food and drink writer.

 

I first 'met' Steven back in 2001 when he and Jason Perlow, under the guise of Andre Broujon (I never did discover why they used that alias, or if in fact Andre was a real person) invited me via email to become one of the founding affiliates of egullet.com as it was then. For the next two years I had a great deal of contact with Steven, and Jason, via email, the egullet management forums and most importantly Instant Messenger.

 

Much of it was about the nuts and bolts of egullet, but there was also plenty of fun and outrageous gossip too (no, I'm not going to repeat any of it here). I recall how delighted I was when I'd type in 'Hi Steven' to IM at almost any time of the night or day and he'd reply. I remember on time he sent me a link to a photo and simply said 'look at this'. It turned out to be his face plastered over a billboard on the side of a highway in Canada during his Fat Guy Eats Canada tour (Steven was big in Canada).

 

I also recall how disappointed I'd be when I typed 'Hi Steven' to IM and there was no reply. Had I upset him? Had I done something wrong? I don't think I even stopped to consider he might not actually be at his computer or he might be doing something as mundane as sleeping. Steven was a prodigious talent with an almost superhuman work ethic, surely sleep was for mere mortals?

 

So it was bizarre to find myself on that trip to New York in 2003, sitting next to him in his tiny office, emailing home from Ellen's computer while he attended to some egullet matters at his own computer. I even got to meet Momo, Steven's beloved English Bulldog.

 

Steven was incredibly generous with his time on that trip (as were Jason and Rachel Perlow who put me up in their spare room in New Jersey). We spent an entire day walking around Manhattan under the beating sun, eating. We met at Eleven Madison Park where Danny Meyer swung by and showed us around the then recently opened Blue Smoke ('You've got enough material for a feature' hinted Steven, although I never wrote it) then headed to Chinatown for a snack at his favourite dumpling shop and then beers at McSorley's. 'You've been very lucky,' Ellen told me later that day. 'Usually in this weather all he wants to do is lay on the couch.'

 

I can't pretend that things always went smoothly between us. I had strong disagreements with Steven on strategic issues about eGullet which eventually led to my resignation in 2006. Looking back, it was a battle I was never going to win. I wish that I'd kept my council and retained his friendship which I now see I failed to value highly enough.

 

We emailed from time to time and he even sent me a review copy of his book Asian Dining Rules (it was, as you might expect an excellent book) but it was never the same as those thrilling early days.

 

Being involved with egullet changed my life in a profound way. Steven's patronage and encouragement gave me the confidence and the courage to change my career. I went from being a miserable wage slave to living my dream overnight because of him and I never thanked him adequately enough for that. Maybe I'll just fire up instant messenger one last time. 'Hi Steven...'   

 

(Love you Fat Guy. My sincere condolences to Ellen and PJ) 

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This is terribly sad. Best thoughts to his family.

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Steven's obituary in The New York Times.

 

 

Service: Thursday, 1:15 pm. Plaza Jewish Community Chapel, 630 Amsterdam Ave., NYC.

 

RIP, Steven.

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Oh my.

To see so many of the 'old faces' here.. Anna N has changed her avator. Maggie the Cat...you have no idea how often I've thought of your wit. Andisenji who has every kitchen gadget in the world and knows how to use them.

Weinoo is a real world friend. Bleudavergne...have you heard the news? I think not or you would be here. Katie Loeb's cocktails...virtually & in person.  Reading Anthony Bourdain & Michael's Ruhlman's post about being 

dead drunk in Central Park. It was the crazy cowboy days of the internet and Steve and Jason created a universe where we could connect.

I owe so very much to eGullet. Steven, you will be missed.

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This is shocking news! eGullet, and by extension FG, changed my eating habits and the way I think about food completely, so despite never having met him I owe Steven Shaw much thanks. My thoughts go out to his family and friends.


Edited by Simon_S (log)
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Very sad news. Condolences to the family. RIP Fat Guy.  

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Very tragic. Condolences to Ellen and PJ.

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Sad. Thank you, Fat Guy.

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Like many other posters on this thread, I haven't logged on (or read) here in a long time. But eGullet was such a huge part of my life for many years, and in a way, still is - even though I don't post here anymore, some of the online friendships I made here morphed into real life friendships that are among the best and warmest I have.

But even the interactions that only took place online have been such a great joy, source of inspiration, real connectedness, and fun. This was a very special place to me, and in forum land, quite unique I think.

Condolences to everyone who knew him and loved him.

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RIP Steven Shaw.. He was far beyond the trite term "foodie", he was a compelling writer, adventurer, mentor to so many, inspiration and friend to countless numbers of aspiring food journalists and culinary professionals. My personal memory of him was enjoying rodizio with him (he was decked out in loud, splashy chef's pants!) in Perth Amboy at a gathering of Philly's Dangerous Dining Club.  A great meal made greater with his participation. Godspeed.

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It is a tribute to Steven that the comments on this thread bring back such a flood of good memories of friends and familiar names, back to a time when we all first found each other and loved to come together around our common passions. So many connections, such a community. Such an innovator, such an influencer.

 

Thank you, Steven, and heartfelt condolences to PJ and Ellen. A big hug for the Fat Guy.

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I just found out.  I'm speechless.  Far too young.  I loved reading about the bento boxes he created for PJ.  I eagerly read every update.  My sincere condolences to PJ and Ellen.  Thank you for making this place, Steven.  

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Of the great many exchanges that I largely enjoyed with Steven through this forum, we met only once.

 

It was at a reception in the bar at Modern - a noisy fracas. He was there with Ellen and their son was a babe-in-arms. Momo hadn't arrived yet but was all around us. I hadn't been given to the fact that Steven was so young - he wrote here and elsewhere with a wiser voice. I also wasn't given to the fact that he was quite shy, at first, until the topic turned to Danny Meyer's canapés, which were also noisy. We had a spirited conversation for a while, much as we once had here, and then the night took us elsewhere. And that's what I shall remember most about Steven - in the early days of eGullet - how we could deliberate, discuss and debate well into the night, until it collapsed under its own weight.

 

Go well Steven, into that good night, for you gave freely of a generous spirit, made the acquaintance of many, and introduced thousands of a common wit and likewise mind.

 

I am deeply sorry that you left the dinner party so early, Steven - a most unjust dessert.

 

Jamie


Edited by jamiemaw (log)
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Rest in peace, Steve...Thanks for the opportunities to share, make friends and have some laughs.

Oh, I was just rereading some posts and saw my old sig. It's my Alain Ducasse "SPOON" cookbook ltd. edition #, 2317/ 5000. You turned me on to that massive tome!!!

We had a good laugh about that, a few of us. That's a tribute to you, sir!

My sympathy and condolences to his family...


Edited by tan319 (log)
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I am very sad to hear this news. Just a few days ago, I was reading his old food blogs here - the trip to Cape Cod and the one to Mobile, AL. As with all the food blogs, I feel like I just spent some time with him and his family even though I never met them at all. 

 

For anyone who might want the links, there are actually 3:

 

http://forums.egullet.org/topic/24980-a-day-in-the-life-of-fat-guys-household/

 

http://forums.egullet.org/topic/91991-eg-foodblog-fat-guy/

 

http://forums.egullet.org/topic/135213-eg-foodblog-fat-guy-2010/


Edited by FauxPas (log)
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I was lucky enough to have met Steve at all the Heartland Gatherings.   I will always remember him saying that my take on the Nicoise salad, was the best he ever tasted( the comment was much appreciated).  He left a legacy, that is for sure.  My heart goes out to his family. RIP.  

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I was fortunate enough to join eGullet years ago when Steven was still posting prolifically here, and I had always thoroughly enjoyed his foodblogs & writings.  This wonderful forum has brought so much into my life in so many ways, and for that, thank you, Fat Guy.  Fish pants forever.

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