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eG Member Brooks Hamaker (Mayhaw Man)


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Brooks Hamaker, also known as Mayhaw Man, one of the original members of the eGullet Society, passed away this weekend. He was a character that was bigger than life, a foodie and master brewer of huge renown in many circles, in Louisiana and all over the world. He was responsible for introducing to me and Rachel, and many other people to different folks in New Orleans, and had a personality that could never be duplicated even in fiction. I will miss him dearly.

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Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Dammitall anyway. I never met him, but his posts here amused and informed me. I began to take interest in Louisiana's fare in large part because of him. I'd always hoped to see him in person someday. 

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Another fine topic, probably my favorite, is

The Boy Ain't Right in the Head

 

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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There are many ways to remember Brooks Hamaker, such as the time Brooks, Rachel, and I got lost in the Louisiana bayou searching for

Poche's Market, Restaurant and Smokehouse (in the era before GPS), which always became a running joke between us. But I think the one I think of most is our "Last Supper" at Pampy's in New Orleans, the ill-fated restaurant of Pampy Barre' and renowned creole-soul chef Austin Leslie.
 
The visit was chronicled on eG Forums here:
 
 
It was also the last time we saw Austin as it was 2 months before Katrina and he passed shortly after. But it was a meal for the ages. Brooks was such a tremendous foodie, had so many stories. And he knew everyone and made every dining experience that much better because of his conversation, and his unique personality.
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Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Sad to hear it. I'd been thinking of him just the other day, when a random look at an older post got me thinking about some of the prolific "back in the day" posters who aren't around any more.

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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5 hours ago, Smithy said:

Another fine topic, probably my favorite, is

The Boy Ain't Right in the Head

 

I'm so sorry to hear of this.  I don't think we ever interacted but I certainly remember him fondly.  @SmithyThanks for this link.  I really enjoyed reading it.

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On 11/3/2020 at 8:59 AM, Jason Perlow said:

Brooks Hamaker, also known as Mayhaw Man, one of the original members of the eGullet Society, passed away this weekend. He was a character that was bigger than life, a foodie and master brewer of huge renown in many circles, in Louisiana and all over the world. He was responsible for introducing to me and Rachel, and many other people to different folks in New Orleans, and had a personality that could never be duplicated even in fiction. I will miss him dearly.

I can't find an obit for him. Odd

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Way back in 2005 (hard to believe it's been 15 years), a bunch of eGulleteers got together at Dean McCord's (known hereabouts as Varmint) place for the Second Occasional Pig Pickin'. One of the featured events was to be a Fried Chicken Cook-off between me and Brooks. Tragically, Hurricane Katrina made landfall about the same time as we arrived at Dean's, preventing Brooks from leaving New Orleans, and the cook-off never transpired.

 

Still, we met up a few times, though only once in NOLA, where Brooks usually lived, and where he mistakenly but stubbornly maintained I was born and raised. He was a talented craftsman, a damn fine writer, and one of the funniest people I've ever had the pleasure to know.

 

To this day, I think of Brooks every time I fry a chicken. 

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Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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I'm very sorry to see this. Only a few days ago I was rereading a gumbo cook-off thread in the Louisiana forum, from back in the day when I posted here a lot. He really was a memorable character. RIP.

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"I like 'em french fried pertaters." (Billy Bob Thornton as Karl, in Sling Blade.)
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1 hour ago, Kim Shook said:

It is odd.  I keep searching for it.  He was a real public figure in the NOLA food/beverage  scene.  Can't figure out why they haven't done one.

With so few print outlets left it’s hard to know where to look for an obituary. I know that after a recent loss in our family the obituary only appeared on the funeral home site. 

Edited by Anna N
Changed printer to print. (log)

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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6 minutes ago, Anna N said:

With so few printer outlets left it’s hard to know where to look for an obituary. I know that after a recent loss in our family the obituary only appeared on the funeral home site. 

True, but I'd expect it to be "news" in NOLA.  If you Google his name, it links to a lot of articles, online stuff about his activities, but nothing about his passing.

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3 minutes ago, Kim Shook said:

True, but I'd expect it to be "news" in NOLA.  If you Google his name, it links to a lot of articles, online stuff about his activities, but nothing about his passing.

 

He moved out of the NOLA area a few years ago to go work at Flying Tiger Brewery in Monroe (after having left LA for several years to go work at a brewery in Raleigh), then left after about 2 years, and moved to Natchitoches where he worked at Cane River Brewery. People in in the NOLA.com food group on FB (Where NOLA Eats) were shocked to hear of his passing, many having lost track of him. He had moved around a lot in his last 5 years.

 

Edited by Jason Perlow (log)

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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1 minute ago, Jason Perlow said:

 

He moved out of the NOLA area a few years ago to go work at Flying Tiger Brewery in Monroe, then left after about 2 years, and moved to Natchitoches where he worked at Cane River Brewery. People in in the NOLA.com food group on FB (Where NOLA Eats) were shocked to hear of his passing, many having lost track of him.

Thank you so much, Jason.  I didn't know that and was sorry if he was being "ignored".  

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