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RW Apple Dies


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NEW YORK (AP) -- R.W. Apple Jr., the longtime New York Times correspondent who charted the fall of Richard Nixon and covered wars from Vietnam to the Persian Gulf while having a parallel career as a food and travel writer, died Wednesday. He was 71.

Apple died in Washington early Wednesday after a long bout with thoracic cancer, the newspaper said.

Read the whole story here

Sadly I remember him best for some disparraging comments about the Heartland and its food, but he was a great writer and a true professional. He will be sorely missed.

Peace,

kmf

www.KurtFriese.com

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I felt very fortunate to meet R.W. Apple at the CIA World of Flavors Conference over the past few years -- he was an institution at that conference and his panel-led discussions were the most heavily attended.

Even though he always had a large crowd of admirers around him, when a lowly, struggling writer <me> found him alone for a few minutes, he was kind, generous, and giving with his time and encouragement.

I will raise a glass to him this evening in remembrance and sadness for the passing of this graceful giant of a man.

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Very sad news, but it's hard to imagine anyone leading a fuller life than R.W. Apple. He certainly appeared to have taken advantage of his time on earth. R.I.P.

I always admired his truly global perspective. I really believe he tasted everything.

I never had the pleasure of meeting him, but some mutual friends of mine were once seated next to him at Herbsaint in New Orleans. Somehow they started talking, and after a few minutes he invited these perfect strangers to join him and his wife for dinner.

Edited by TAPrice (log)

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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From NYT editor Keller's memo to staff (posted on Romanesko ):

From his sickbed he hammered out his last words to readers (see last Sunday's Travel section), negotiated details of the menu and music for his memorial service, followed the baseball playoffs and the latest congressional scandal with relish, and cheered up the friends who came by the cheer him up. He was himself to the last.

The article mentioned above is this piece on Singapore.

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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How can one not treasure R.W.Apple when he came out with:

"Vidalias are to run-of-the-mill onions as foie gras is to chopped liver," he wrote in a 1998 feature. Checking out hot dogs in Chicago, he wrote in 2004: "No place else this side of Frankfurt has a frankfurter stand every three or four blocks, as Chicago does. And no other place anywhere has a catechism of condiments as rigorously defined as Chicago's. ... And no ketchup, please. Ever."
from MSNBC

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Here is the link to the NY TIMES Obituary:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/04/nyregion...?pagewanted=all

I loved the article in GOURMET describing his 70th birthday celebration at L'Ami Louis in Paris, France. Although his death came at a relatively young age, he seemed to have lived life to it fullest, especially in his later years when he began writing about food.

"Some ladies smoke too much and some ladies drink too much and some ladies pray too much, but all ladies think that they weigh too much."

From a poem by Ogden Nash - Curl Up and Diet

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I'm very sorry to hear this.

I'll never forget standing on the steps in Oxford, MS discussing, for a very long time, the situation in New Orleans. This was just a month and a half or so after Katrina and he was full of interesting observations but more importantly, he was full of questions that he took the time and the trouble to hear the answers to. Believe me, at that point, not a one of us on those steps had a short answer to anything. Few would listen, and even fewer would accurately portray our point of view- he did, however, and we all appreciated him taking the time to listen and retell our stories accurately.

He had a career that anyone would be proud of (wars, pestilence, politics, lunch, dinner, dessert-he could do it all). And, to the very end, he had Betsey. That was, it was very clear to anyone that knew him at all, the most important thing in his mind. The rest, well, it took second place.

I am trying to access it, because I believe that it would be fitting here, but Brett Anderson wrote a beautiful piece earlier in the year on Apple in New Orleans. I hope that I can post it here as it was a lovely tribute to a vital and interesting guy. Apple covered alot of ground-literally.

Happy Trails, Johnny...

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

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

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I am trying to access it, because I believe that it would be fitting here, but Brett Anderson wrote a beautiful piece earlier in the year on Apple in New Orleans. I hope that I can post it here as it was a lovely tribute to a vital and interesting guy. Apple covered alot of ground-literally.

Happy Trails, Johnny...

Brooks, I believe this is the piece:

TP: Apple's New Orleans

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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I am trying to access it, because I believe that it would be fitting here, but Brett Anderson wrote a beautiful piece earlier in the year on Apple in New Orleans. I hope that I can post it here as it was a lovely tribute to a vital and interesting guy. Apple covered alot of ground-literally.

Happy Trails, Johnny...

Brooks, I believe this is the piece:

TP: Apple's New Orleans

Exactly. Clearly you understand the inner workings of the unbelievably awful Picayune website. Thanks for that. It's a really good read.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

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

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last year's PBS Newshour interview with Apple ...

JEFFREY BROWN: To what extent is it still true that food determines the character of the cities you visit?

R.W. "JOHNNY" APPLE, JR.: Unless you're going to haute cuisine restaurants, where the chef is from Italy or France, the food very often is traditional. But far beyond that, for me, personally, I come from a family that owned supermarkets.

So, I was around food. I had a grandmother whom I spent a lot of my time with, who was a fabulous cook. And it's portable. No matter where the New York Times has sent me -- from Africa to Vietnam to China to Utah to wherever -- there's something to eat.

and then there is this on a New Orleans favorite:

shrimp rules on Uglesich's tables. In addition to shrimp Uggie, you can order a shrimp po' boy (crisp fried shrimp in a long, toasted bread roll), shrimp and grits (shrimp in a delectably creamy sauce ladled over fried triangles of grits), grilled shrimp and onions, shrimp and country sausage with a creole mustard sauce, shrimp in bacon with a sweet potato soufflé, firecracker shrimp with barbecue and horseradish sauce, shrimp rémoulade, shrimp creole, shrimp stuffed with crabmeat, voodoo shrimp and volcano shrimp, among a long list of other dishes.  Voodoo shrimp, which contains black bean paste and is described on the menu as Asian Creole, and volcano shrimp, which includes ginger, soy sauce, black bean paste and Chinese red pepper, reflect the influence of recent migrants to south Louisiana, as does the Vietnamese dipping sauce that is now served with the crawfish balls.
NYTimes article, circa 2005 Edited by Gifted Gourmet (log)

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Very sad news indeed. He was on the roster for the upcoming Worlds of Flavor Conference at CIA/Greystone. I was very much hoping to meet him there. Meeting him will now have to wait.

I appreciate the anecdotes and links posted here about this remarkable man.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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A great, great loss.

As others have said reading him he certainly did not suffer snobs or fools and did indeed seem to be a roll-up-your-sleeves type guy.

His was a by-line that I always read; went back to. Probably as high a compliment one can pay a journalist.

Sad day.

Bob Sherwood

____________

“When the wolf is at the door, one should invite him in and have him for dinner.”

- M.F.K. Fisher

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This is the notice that went out to employees at the NYT this morning:

Memo from New York Times executive editor Bill Keller

Colleagues,

I'm deeply saddened to report that Johnny Apple -- the great Johnny Apple -- died overnight. As many of you know, he had been engaged in a long struggle with thoracic cancer, a bout that gave Applesque luster to the word "valiant." From his sickbed he hammered out his last words to readers (see last Sunday's Travel section), negotiated details of the menu and music for his memorial service, followed the baseball playoffs and the latest congressional scandal with relish, and cheered up the friends who came by the cheer him up. He was himself to the last.

Johnny leaves behind bereft legions of friends, colleagues, proteges and imitators, admiring competitors and grateful readers, and his beloved Betsey. He leaves, too, a hole in the heart of the paper he adored, and an empty place at countless tables.

Betsey says there will be a whale of a memorial service, probably in a couple of months. We'll pass along information as it becomes available.

Those who want reminding of a life lived to the fullest should read Todd Purdum's wonderful obit. We'll have it up on the website before long.

Bill

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

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

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Before he went into the hospital, Apple filed this article on 10 international restaurants worth visiting. It was scheduled to run in the fall, but the Times ran it today instead. From the lede:

AFTER half a century of assiduous eating in restaurants around the world, first avocationally and more recently professionally, I have become accustomed to certain questions: “What’s your favorite restaurant?” “What will you order for your last meal on earth?” “Which is best — French cuisine? Italian? Chinese?” All unanswerable, of course. Now comes a more modest proposition: Name 10 restaurants abroad that would be worth boarding a plane to visit, even in these fraught days.

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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I am shocked.

I remember reading somewhere how his colleagues teased him for chucking the Political beat for the food world. He brushed them off and we are the richer for it. I will miss him greatly.

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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How many of us have the ability to fulfill our dreams and wishes as RW Apple did?

I am more than pleased by how he lived his life and how rewarding it must have been for him along the way ... to contribute to the knowledge of others is quite a large gift indeed ...

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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  • 2 months later...
Full story here.
It wasn't a state funeral, exactly: no pomp, no men in uniform. Perhaps you could call it an estate funeral -- fourth estate. This isn't a known category, it couldn't be -- to the best of your correspondent's knowledge, there has never been an analogous event, and there will never be another. Like Raymond Walter Apple Jr., the memorial service was sui generis. How many great political writers were also great food writers? How many reporters became famous, really famous, for the immensity of their expense accounts?

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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And Trillin summed up the situation for the culture at large now that Apple is gone: "We have an acute shortage of legendary reporters," he said.

Lovely article. I'm sorry I came to Apple late--I just began noticing his by-line in the last couple of years. I'll have to do some trolling on Lexis-Nexis soon.

Margo Thompson

Allentown, PA

You're my little potato, you're my little potato,

You're my little potato, they dug you up!

You come from underground!

-Malcolm Dalglish

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And Trillin summed up the situation for the culture at large now that Apple is gone: "We have an acute shortage of legendary reporters," he said.

Lovely article. I'm sorry I came to Apple late--I just began noticing his by-line in the last couple of years. I'll have to do some trolling on Lexis-Nexis soon.

Or just click here.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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