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I just read on facebook that he passed away unexpectedly yesterday. Very sad.

I did not know Steve personally. I know he was a founder of the egullet site and was very involved not only in that site, but of the web/food world as a whole.   I was a member and posted at egullet

"Fish pants" is a phrase I'll always remember whenever I think of El Gordo, originally referred to by Jinmyo.

At this point he's in Valhalla (truly: that's where the cemetery is, Valhalla, NY), and since there was probably no autopsy (it's against Jewish practice, I think), anything would be conjecture. In any case, a cautionary tale.

 

It is not so unusual for a cause of death to be stated in the obituary of a Jewish person (an autopsy is not always necessary to determine that). Not that it matters terribly; I was just making the observation.

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It was a lovely funeral--overflow crowd including many people from Quirky and from all through his life. His sixth-grade English teacher was one of the speakers ("Steven, I guess you don't owe me that book report any more"), as were Michael and Doug Psaltis. (For those who don't know, Michael was his literary agent, and Doug is a chef he met when doing a stage at ADNY.) To a person they spoke about his intelligence and wide-ranging interests, satisfied through the reading of books on whatever subject he wanted to become an "expert" in (the quote marks came directly from Ellen, his wife); his capacity for friendship; his joy in and love for his family, esp. his son PJ. And Ellen explained the origin of the fish pants. It was all very moving, and often quite funny. And yes, it reminded me how important it is to keep in touch with the people I care about.

Indeed, Suzanne. Even the overflow room was overflowing. Both Ellen's and the English teacher's eulogies had me dabbing my eyes.

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It's been reported elsewhere as an apparent heart attack. And actually part of the reason he left his law career for food journalism was because his father died young of the same cause, so he decided to pursue what he loved.

That is my understanding from speaking to people close to the matter.

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wow. this is horrible.

 

as a chowhound refugee, egullet is where I really became truly interested in dining...for that I have Shaw to thank (maybe not my wallet though!). we had our differences but I always found him to be gracious and warm.

 

I'll post something on egullet if I can remember my login...

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A few of us have been discussing having a Flaming Orange Gully in his memory. I dug out the recipe, as created by Dale DeGroff and served at Beacon, which I printed off eGullet.com on January 15, 2003. It was accompanied by a recipe for the falernum, which was very difficult to get at the time. And the thread included a discussion of whether we should be referred to as eGulletarians, eGulleters, or eGulleteers.

 

1 1/2 oz Stolichnaya Ohranj

1/2 oz fresh lime juice

2 dashes Angostura bitters

1 oz Velvet Falernum Syrup

1 oz fresh orange juice

 

Shake all ingredients well with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass.

 

Garnish with a flamed orange peel and fresh grated nutmeg.

 

There were also photos of Dale flaming (the orange peel, that is). And the cocktail cost $9 at the restaurant.

 

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I just learned (from the NYT Obit.) that Steven's late father was someone I knew a long time ago. He was an English Professor at Stony Brook when I was there getting my BA in English Lit. and I spoke with him often during my 4 years there. Steven was born 3 months before I got there and was a toddler. I'm a little taken aback by this… I never connected the two.

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I saw the obit in the newspaper today, and I've been reading many of the kind memories and posts both here and at EG. I stumbled across EG way back when and a bunch of people I met at gatherings were good people to know at a time when I was going through some life changes.

 

Steven's work with EG made a big difference to many people interested in food, and many friendships owe their origin to his creations.

 

My condolences go out to his family, especially to his mother Penny Shaw. We were neighbors in the same building, with the Shaws on the 6th floor and me on the 7th. Penny and Steve's father Peter were very nice people.

 

It's been a long time since gatherings at Grand Sichuan, and special meals with Survir, and outings with the Burger Club with our scales, thermometers and rating sheets.

 

So thank you Steven for your contributions and also it's nice to see a lot of familiar handles of those who became friends via sites like his and this one.

 

~Mark Hesse

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I posted on eG (for the first time in maybe 8 years) and have had no time since. eGullet helped to bring together many people, from many different walks of life and from many different parts of this world. I now have friends all over North America because of eGullet and I know I'm not alone in saying that. He has left behind quite the legacy and certainly is responsible for turning a group of food geeks in Vancouver into lifelong friends. I still find news of his passing truly surreal. He was far too young. I hope his family gains some strength knowing how many lives Steve touched.

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I don't know what to say. This is such a shock. I knew Steve Shaw as a law student before either of us became interested in food. I will always remember the impression he immediately made upon me; his inquisitive nature and enthusiasm for life were obvious. His early food writing is what brought me to this foodie world. Rest in peace. I'm so sorry.

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  • 3 weeks later...

EGullet made a difference in my life. I have made so many lasting friendships since then, thanks to the food boards. I am so sorry about this. My heart goes out to his family.

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After the gravestone has been erected, it is covered (with a piece of cloth) until there can be a ceremony to "unveil" it. Iirc, it's supposed to happen within a year of burial. Another chance for people to mourn and/or celebrate the life of the deceased. Afaik, it is only tradition; there is nothing in the Bible or other writings that requires it. (If anyone can cite where it is written, be my guest.)

 

BTW: I've been told that the tradition of leaving a stone on top of the gravestone when you visit has no further significance than to hold down the soul of the deceased so that s/he won't rise up out of the grave and come after you. Nothing but superstition (what a surprise).

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