Joshua Ozersky, famed food writer for Esquire, dead at 47
Famed Esquire food writer and longtime New Yorker Joshua Ozersky was found dead in a Chicago hotel Monday morning, while he was in the Windy City reporting on the James Beard Foundation Awards for culinary achievements and writing.
He was pronounced dead at 11:40 a.m. in the Conrad Chicago Hotel, and the cause of death is still unknown, the medical examiner’s office said.
The 47-year-old Ozersky, who recently relocated to Portland, Ore., founded Meatopia, an annual carnivore celebration that traveled the nation. Himself a James Beard Foundation advisory board member, he became Esquire’s restaurant editor at large last year. He was due back in Portland on Tuesday once the awards ceremony was done.
The day before his death, he took to Twitter to ask for advice on what turned out to be one of his last meals. “So I am in Chicago. Where should I eat?” he tweeted.
OpenTable marketer Jen Pelka tweeted Monday she was “singing karaoke” with the fallen foodie “until the wee hours last night,” and posted a video of him belting out “Islands in the Stream.”
The happily hefty Ozersky spent much of his career in New York, and one of his several popular food books was the juicy local manual “Meat Me in Manhattan: A Carnivore’s Guide to New York City” in 2003. He also founded New York magazine’s food blog, Grub Street, and hosted for the Smithsonian TV special “The United States of Booze” last year.
His death brought an onslaught of online grieving from fellow foodies and journalism colleagues.
“If Josh Ozersky had been dropped into any other place & century–Paris in 1890, London in 1750, Beijing in 1480–Within six months he would have been at the center of the food scene, propelled by his opinions and his love of toppling icons,” New York Times food critic Pete Wells tweeted.