'obituaries' on Serious Eats

My Friend Nora Ephron Is Dead: The World Has Lost Someone Very Special

Nora Ephron, essayist, screenwriter, novelist, playwright, director, and, yes, serious eater, died tonight. You didn't have to know her to realize what a terrible loss this is. Nora was razor sharp, smart, funny, dignified, and generously spirited, not to mention ridiculously talented. And she was a friend of mine; a friend to Serious Eats; a lover of all things food. If we had a Serious Eats flag it would be flying at half-mast tonight. More

Aloysius C. 'Al' Pawlowicz, Co-Owner of Pizzaland, Dies at 49

I am sad to report the death of Aloysius C. "Al" Pawlowicz, the co-owner of, and pizzamaker at, Pizzaland, the pizzeria immortalized in the opening credits of the Sopranos. Pawlowicz made me some of the most memorable, unique and downright delicious pizza that I have had. He suffered a heart attack and died on October 28, 2010, which must seem somewhat ironic to those that knew him, as he clearly had a huge heart. But considering that he worked upward of 12-hour days, often seven says a week, the result is perhaps not so surprising. Pawlowicz put his heart and soul in his pizza, and it showed, but more important, he was dedicated to his family, which he talked about proudly and lovingly while he served his "old fashioned"–style pies. More

Video: How Cheez Doodles Are Made

Last week the creator of the cheddar tube puffs known as Cheez Doodles died in his New York home at the age of 90. In honor of Morrie Yohai—and all the orange-coated fingers he brought into our lives—we share this episode from Food Network's Unwrapped on how Cheez Doodles are made. Did you know 220 doodles are produced every second (220 newborn doodles, just like that!) at the Wise Foods production plant in Pennsylvania? More

Leslie Buck, 87, Designer of Iconic Coffee Cup

Leslie Buck, responsible for the Grecian design on so many New York coffee cups for nearly half a century, died on Monday at 87, the New York Times reported. The blue-and-white cups, famous for their "We Are Happy to Serve You" message, can still be found at some diners, delis, and food carts. Buck chose the colors of the Greek flag because so many of the city's diners were owned by Greeks. Though he had no formal art training, they were an instant success. More

Taco Bell Founder Glen Bell Dies at 86

Glen Bell, 1923–2010. [Photograph: Earth Times] Taco Bell founder Glen Bell died yesterday. He was 86. From at YUM Brands press release: Bell's Drive-In first served a menu with hamburgers and hot dogs to its customers. However, Bell soon decided to differentiate his menu by adding Mexican fare.... Once he perfected his taco shell recipe, taco sauces and the convenient drive-thru concept, he was ready to introduce the tastes and textures of Mexican food to mainstream America. Interesting to note, Bell founded a model produce farm and park called Bell Gardens that "provided educational programs that stressed the importance of agriculture and how to preserve our natural resources." [via @SamSifton]... More

Video: SpaghettiOs Creator Donald Goerke Dead at 83

The New York Times carries the obituary today of SpaghettiOs godfather Donald Goerke, who died Sunday in Delran, New Jersey. Goerke was also responsible for introducing Chunky Soup, Campbell's line of heartier soups containing more visible chunks of stuff. Here, by way of memorial to the man who created an iconic American brand, is a selection of classic SpaghettiOs commercials, with the Uh-Oh kids (one of whom is a baby-faced Steve Urkel). Our condolences go out to Mr. Goerke's family and friends, and to all the fans of the tomatoey circles that were a part of our collective childhood. Videos, after the jump.... More

Al Bernardin, Creator of McDonald's Quarter Pounder and More, Dead at 81

Al Bernardin, inventor of the McDonald's Quarter Pounder, died of a stroke last month at 81. Although the Quarter Pounder is his most famous creation, he also helped develop the frozen french fry. His other contributions as vice president of product development at McDonald's include helping to form the Filet-O-Fish and hot apple and cherry pies. [via @Francis_Lam] Related Holiday Pie from McDonald's McDonald's Filet-O-Fish: Yea or Nay? 'Consumer Reports' Rates Fast Food French Fries Quarter Pounder, McDonald's No-Brand Burger Japanese Joint... More

East Harlem Patsy's Pizzaiolo José Jiminez Dies

"I remember seeing José shoveling coal in the oven, firing it up during hot summer months with only a fan to cool him." [Photographs: Jared Goldstein] Some sad news just arrived in the Slice inbox, courtesy of NYC tour guide Jared Goldstein: I am sorry to share the passing of one of America's great chefs—and a great guy—José Jiminez, on December 7, 2009.Jiminez, who immigrated from Ecuador, was the East Harlem Patsy's pizza chef and cook since 1977. He learned how to make their special pies from the previous pizza master, back when Carmella, "Mrs. Patsy" was alive.... More

How to Get a Ride Home for the Cost of a Pizza Delivery

Experimental Domino's delivery vehicle. [Photograph: Hugo90 on Flickr] From the obituary of geriatric psychiatrist Gene D. Cohen in the New York Times today: In the opening chapter of his latest book, "The Mature Mind," Dr. Cohen related an anecdote that in many ways encapsulated his theories. His in-laws had arrived for a visit in Washington in the midst of a snowstorm and emerged from the subway lost. Unable to hail a cab or reach the Cohen family by phone, Dr. Cohen's father-in-law had an idea. He and his wife walked across the street to a pizza parlor, ordered a... More

Ben Ali of Ben's Chili Bowl Dies at 82

It's a sad day for D.C. residents and half-smoke lovers everywhere: Ben Ali, co-founder of landmark greasy spoon Ben's Chili Bowl, passed away last night. As DCist points out, "the chili, half-smokes, cheese fries and shakes that have made Ben's Chili Bowl famous since it opened in 1958 are still prepared the same way today as they were when Ben first started."... More

Fashion Photographer Irving Penn Dies at 92

Irving Penn, "Frozen Food (with String Beans)" 1977. Photographer Irving Penn died yesterday morning in New York City, where he lived and worked. Though Penn became widely known at first for his fashion photography for Vogue magazine starting in the 1940s, he later gained entry to the fine-art world with his striking still lifes of cigarette butts, sidewalk detritus, and animal skulls. But perhaps the one image I think of almost immediately upon hearing Penn's name is this 1977 photograph, "Frozen Food (with String Beans)," which lends the icy blocks of fruits and vegetables a certain elegance you'd never imagine they'd have. Every time I open my freezer and see a package of frozen vegetables sitting there, I imagine... More

In Memory of The Silver Palate's Sheila Lukins

"She introduced me and millions of others to capers and balsamic vinegar and crème fraîche." Julia Moskin has a pretty good obituary about The Sliver Palate's Sheila Lukins in today's New York Times. What is your favorite Silver Palate recipe? Mine is her puréed broccoli with creme fraiche, which my wife just loves. I can't say I knew Shelia well. I would see her at parties and restaurants and exchange small talk. But when we first met, I told her my wife and I still used the Silver Palate cookbooks on many occasions, especially when having company over for big meals like Thanksgiving. She seemed to appreciate that, though I'm sure she had heard it a million times from people.... More

Sal and Carmine's: A Post-Sal Pilgrimage

"His slices were so good that they didn't have to deliver." The other night I started thinking about Sal and Carmine's. Adam reported on Sal's untimely death, but somehow I feel the only true way to pay one's respects to a pieman (and Sal was one of the all-time great piemen) is to have one of his pies. So last Friday I left the Slice–Serious Eats office around 7 p.m. and took the 2 Train to 96th Street and Broadway. I know I could have taken the local one more stop and ended up a couple of blocks closer, but... More

More Posts