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Honoring the Life and Work of Bux (Robert Buxbaum)

Chris Amirault

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The eGullet Society lost a founder, manager, and member yesterday when Robert Buxbaum (Bux) passed away.

Click here for the announcement.

For the next week, we invite you to honor Bux's lasting presence on eG Forums and to share your remembrances of his love and appreciation for food, cooking, travel, and eating.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I first "met" Bux on 2 February 1998, a little while after I'd started my New York restaurant review website (though I'd seen his posts in newsgroups before then), when he sent me this email message:

Addicted to good food as I am, I checked out your site in response to your

post in the nyc.food newsgroup.  I was prepared for a yawn.  Yet another

restaurant site, I figured.  I was not bored.  Your choice of Lespinasse

as NY's best is not my choice, but it's a reasonable choice and one that is

frequenly mentioned when the people I trust, talk about great restaurants.

Gray Kunz was cooking at the Peninsula across the Avenue when we first

tasted his food.  Fusion cooking was already a fad that allowed a lot of

chefs to mangle too many disparate ingredients in a newly concocted dish.

But Kunz was already a master of delicately working with a wide palette of

flavors.  His food tickled the taste buds we had so well trained on more

classic French cuisine, but never assaulted them.  I'm not a regular at

Lespinasse, or really at any other restaurant of that price range, but

we've been there several times.  Never been displeased and can hardly

imagine anyone not being impressed unless they just plain didn't enjoy

great food.  Once, I thought my lamb was bit too spicey for our wine, or

maybe for any wine.  The wine, ordered with my companions in mind was a

perfect match for their dishes, however.  Once, I had the great pleasure of

dining there with a young cook, who had recently met Gray and whose dinner

reservations were made by another of NY's great chefs (Daniel Boulud - to

let the cat out of the bag).  When we arrived the waiter informed us the

the chef was planning a special menu for the table.  It was one of the

great meals of my life.

I went to your "Biases" page after reading one more review.  I was curious

about a few things.  We share a few biases.  Your raves about Lespinasse

being the tops in the states and at least one of the top few in the world

made me wonder where else in the world you've dined.  I've heard reports

about Charlie Trotter's in Chicago that make me feel very guilty about not

having been there.  I have been to France a good number of times and cut my

"gourmet" teeth on old fashioned, and not usually haute cuisine, French

food.  Over the years, we've managed to increase our budget and eat in some

of Europe's (mostly France's) best restaurants.  There are dozens of

restaurants that, IMHO, should not be overlooked, over there.

Knowing my bias towards French food, it might not surprise you that Daniel

is my favorite restaurant in NY, and the second review of yours that I

read.  It would surprise you that one of the reasons I love it so, is how

comfortable I was the first time I ate there and how superbly we were

treated as first timers.  By the third lunch, we had made the acquaintance

of Daniel, himself, as he made the rounds in the dining room.  He's a very

charming restauranteur.  I'm a bit surprised at your treatment.  It's hard

to be too shocked, these days.  It is a business and it's always tempting

to over book.  I've been caught on the other side of that problem waiting

for almost an hour after my reserved time at the old Bouley.  That's

equally inexcusable.  Once at Cascabel, on Lafayette St., we were asked to

vacate a table for the next party, but we were offered a drink at the bar

in return.  We were about to leave and didn't have time for the drink, but

I was impressed by how they handled the situation.

My opinion of any restaurant is weighted heavily on the food, with service

a very distant second and decor a third.  I have a strong prejudice against

loud places.  I've had the digestion of perfectly good meals ruined by the

noise level and I enjoy having a conversation with others at my table.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to reading more of yor reviews.  You pages are

very professional looking.  I too have a web site devoted mostly to food,

and mostly to food in France.  I have a small page on NYC restaurants that

I haven't kept up to date.  Come to think of it, my tales of France are

missing our last two trips.

Bux and I exchanged 2,810 email messages over the next several years, and he always had something to teach me. When we started the eGullet.com website in the summer of 2001, Bux was the obvious choice to lead the France forum.

In the four years after that, in addition to amassing a body of 12,211 public posts, Bux provided leadership and vision as eGullet.com grew, evolved and eventually transformed into the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters -- Bux was a driving force behind nearly everything we are today.

Not absolutely everything, though. It's no secret that Bux and the eGullet Society parted on bad terms about a year ago; a serious disagreement over a series of management decisions couldn't be reconciled. This was unfortunate. Bux's departure from the eGullet Society also marked the end of our personal relationship, I'm sad to say. Nevertheless, for almost five years Bux was a foundational influence at the eGullet Society and, before that, eGullet.com, as well as my friend, confidant and culinary mentor for almost a decade.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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When I first started hosting in eG Forums, Bux was one of my go-to supports for big and little questions both. I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing around here without him.

His commitment to members, eG Forums, and the world of food was unsurpassed. Anyone who cares about those things should, I believe, share my deep appreciation for all that he did.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Back in 2002, Bux was the first person with whom I ever interacted in the eGullet forums. His written voice was so distinctive, even though I never met him in person, I kind feel like I did. Over time, I came to appreciate both his extensive knowledge and his wry sense of humor. In many ways, his contributions and presence helped define this place for me. I learned so much from reading Bux's words and I'm grateful that he took the time to share so much of his experience.

It's sad to think about him not being around any longer. But when I think of all the lives he touched, I can't help but smile. It was one helluva diverse group of people that Bux connected. That, in and of itself, was a major and meaningful accomplishment.

To Bux's family, loved ones and friends, my condolences on your loss.


"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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Incredibly sad news. Bux was such a strong voice in these forums. And I know how hard he worked to help get eGullet off the ground, so my hat is off to him for that as well as his many contributions in the forums. There was always something to learn from Bux.

I had the pleasure of sitting with Bux and his lovely wife at one of the China 46 Chinese New Years dinners a couple of years ago. Bux was just as he appeared here. Incredibly knowledgeable about food, wine and travel, incredibly passionate and even occasionally cantankerous. But also incredibly charming, undeniably articulate and shamelessly generous with his knowledge. He'll be missed.

My deepest condolences to his wife and family. I can imagine that their dinner tables will be conspicuously quiet without him. Godspeed Bux. You were a dear sweet man.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

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

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We met Bux some 10 years ago on rec.travel.europe, where he was extraordinarily informed and passionate about food and travel. He brought us to eGullet during its first few days and continued to encourage our growth by generously sharing his experiences and knowledge. I can't remember a time when he didn't have valuable input for our questions nor can I imagine his being gone. We will remember one lovely evening the four of us shared in Paris.

Our very best wishes to his family. He is missed.

eGullet member #80.

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I sent Bux an email earlier this week, with an inquiry about France. When I didn't hear from him, my first thought was, "That's not like Bux." That's because Bux always was there to help with advice about France, New York and dining in general. He was an opinionated man, but a good man. I remember dining with him and his wife at Blue Hill a few years ago -- this was Bux's restaurant. He simply loved the place. The meal will always be a vivid memory, as will Bux.

Our deepest condolences to the Buxbaum family. Robert Buxbaum will be missed.

Dean McCord


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This is terribly shocking and sad news! My wife and I met Bux in Spain in 2005 and had the pleasure of sharing a wonderful Pintxo and Cava meal with him. I still cannot believe he's gone.

I will raise my next Cava for you Bux, you will be terribly missed and may you rest in peace. Our condolences to the family.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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Bux was stubborn, knowledgeable and endearing. We had had our differences working together on eG, but they were always respectful differences with Bux being willing to listen, even when he wouldn't budge. When he was convinced of something, he was immovable. He had incredible moral standards that he lived by.

To me, Bux was a mentor, peer and friend. Outside of eG, he was always generous with his time and advice and his recommendations on where to dine in New York never failed me. I also had the pleasure of his company at the same China 46 event where I shared drinks with Bux and his wife beforehand and it was a pleasure to meet him in person.

Mostly I remember Bux' support during my brother's battle with cancer, even as he was beginning his own battle. We talked often about treatments, effects on family and friends and hanging tough. And he did. Right till the end, Bux was a class act. Nothing was more important to him that his Esilda and his daughter and her family and that shone through in every conversation we had. He was a family man to his core. And a gentleman to boot.

I will miss him and his sense of humour. My deepest condolences to Esilda and family. Rest in peace, Bux.


Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Bux was one of my mentors in many ways, culinary being merely one ... I miss the guidance and love he offered to those of us who sought his very wise counsel ... to a mensch, Bux, you taught us more than we even realized ... your life will remain as a blessing to eGullet and your many friends here.

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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I am very upset by this news. During my time as an eGullet staff member, Bux was truly a mentor. He always demanded that we do things right or not at all, so he could be very tough at times, but he was always sincere in everything he did and said, and I learned a great deal from him. Bux wrote passionately and clearly on any subject he approached, whether for public consumption or in private emails. He cared about communication and he cared about integrity. And at bottom, he cared about work, about people, and about life.

I shared two meals with Bux. The first time was when I gathered together a group of people to go to Yeah Shanghai Deluxe. We had a good time. Everyone enjoyed the dishes I knew and loved and also humored my desire to try the Chrysanthemum Fish, which was truly a wonder to behold but whose sauce was really overly sweet. Bux didn't regret that we had ordered the fish. He found the experience interesting, and said something like "Everything is worth ordering once."

The other meal I had with Bux was a time when he was having dinner with his wife, Esilda, and some other eGullet members and needed another person to fill the table. We started off at Bar Jamon, where we had a taste of some wine and a little bread, ham and cheese, and olives, as I recall. Bux was a good conversationalist, and the time passed enjoyably until it was time to go to the main restaurant and join the others.

My heart goes out to Esilda and the rest of Bux's family and friends. Bux had a life that mattered -- to those of us who knew him in person and through his writings. May we remember him in death.

Michael aka "Pan"


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I had the pleasure of meeting Bux and his wife, Esilda, once in person, but it was as if I had known him a long time. I always enjoyed reading his thoughtful well written posts. I learned a lot from him and respected him very much. He knew as much about enjoying food as anyone I know. R.I.P.

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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Bux was my godfather here on eG and I'm still shocked about the news. Esilda sent me an email yesterday and I can not forget the times we spent together eating, discussing and enjoying life. Bux was generous with his friends and trully passionate about food and life.

Rest in peace, Bux.

Edited by Rogelio (log)
Rogelio Enríquez aka "Rogelio"
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As with so many others, Bux was the person who drew me into eGullet activities. I had been lurking for a while, then posting largely about news items concerning new restaurants in Paris and he quickly invited me to do a Digest saying he was lousy at delegating and I'd be helpful to him and the Forum. It's strange that I didn't meet or dine with him until long after, indeed until the period he was diagnosed with cancer but even then, he insisted that we concentrate on food and didn't want to talk about his health.

Bux was one of a kind, he certainly had his rough edges and strong opinions - but he was also an incredible repository of historical memories about meals at places I've long since forgotten the details of. His warm welcome to new members, his fierce adherence to copyright laws and his 3-5 paragraph long posts on meals in France, Spain and Italy in the distant past will all be missed.

Rest in Peace, Bux, we'll miss you - the whole you.


Edited by John Talbott (log)

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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The one meal I shared with Bux et femme was at the Brasserie Roux in London--memorable not for its cuisine but for its conversation. As with so many eGulleteers, we had corresponded so much that our initial face-to-face conversation might well have begun, "Meanwhile..." Human discourse is just that bit impoverished by his loss.

John Whiting, London

Whitings Writings

Top Google/MSN hit for Paris Bistros

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I met BUx 3 years ago in Paris and shared wine and conversation .

I appreciated his insights and love for french food .I remember that he valued authenticity in people and was an honnest person.

Well BUx, rest in peace and your words on egullet will be read well in the future

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Bux and I had many a great banter in the early days of eG -- days we all fondly recall in the infancy of chat lists -- as he was clearly an early leader and inspired many. Sincere condolences to his family and many thanks, Bux, for all the great times online. I raise a glass to you in thanks.

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Bux reached out to me some time ago and was always there to guide and encourage. One of the things I liked most about him was that you never had to wonder what was on his mind. He was articulate and direct, and stubborn and fair, loved his family and was so proud of their accomplishments. To you, Buxbaum. Rest well.

"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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Bux lived to eat and loved to dine, especially on the trips he took two or times a year, almost always to France and Spain. Before he left, I would grill him on where exactly he was going and why, and looked forward to his return when he would regale me with his reportage and opinions before he would post them on eGullet. We were of the same generation and even started out at the same age dining in France, although I believe he began to take it more seriously than I did in those days. That gave us even more to talk about. While we and our wives shared several meals in New York, I never had the chance to meet him abroad, although we once talked about it. What fun it would have been. Do yourself a favor, though. Read the precious words he left behind before setting out on a trip of your own.

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Unlike many of you, I only knew Bux from his posts. Those illuminating, opinionated, sometimes humorous, sometimes caustic, always informing, entertaining, worth-the-time posts.

He was very inspiring in many ways and will be missed. My condolences to his family and friends.

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A great friend and a great guy. Always ready to offer good advice, always engaging when discussing food, even to the point where the theme was how chemo had affected his sense of taste, and what food combinations could he try next.

We will miss you greatly Bux.

We''ve opened Pazzta 920, a fresh pasta stall in the Boqueria Market. follow the thread here.

My blog, the Adventures of A Silly Disciple.

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