Looking on to Facebook this morning I came across some terrible news. Steven Shaw, one of the creators of eGullet, had passed away suddenly yesterday. I only met him a couple of times but that doesn’t lessen the blow of the loss. Steven leaves behind a wife and young son. A true tragedy.
eGullet was my first introduction to the world of online food discussion. I don’t remember how I came across it initially. I think I was trying to find some information online about some new restaurant in Chicago and the Google-hold lead me to eG’s Heartland forum. I couldn’t believe that there was a whole site devoted to just talking about food and restaurants. I found my people!
My first post was terrible, but eventually I got the hang of it, and I found myself part of a new community. I met people that never would have been in my life otherwise and had some pretty neat experiences as a result. Most memorable was the annual Heartland Gathering that culminated in a bunch of us serving as background for a Bourdain segment at Burt’s Place.
Steven (and yes many others) were responsible for this. In the long, boring story of online food discussion eGullet is a significant (if not the most significant) part.
Like just about every other online food community eGullet changed and fractured. I’ve certainly moved on, not having posted there in I don’t know how many years. But that shouldn’t take away from what was built and what it led to.
RIP Steven. Wherever you are, I’m sure you’re enjoying a terrific meal…hopefully in your fish pants.