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To Steven Shaw, cofounder of eGullet. Without him none of us would be here.

Thanks to a food message board that went live right around 9/11 many if us have found love, created friendships that can't be replaced, and enhanced our passion of food.

eGullet was the gateway drug into on-line eating,and Steven a bit of a genius in his ability to turn a website into a real community.  He gave me the opportunity to be -- until some upstart website started stealing eGullet's thunder in DC -- a minor wheel in the DC food scene and, more important and lasting, an opportunity to write, eat, meet fascinating people in and out of the biz and make lifelong friends. As a moderator on eGullet, I had more than a few heated discussions but like a good New York lawyer, he seemed to consider them just part of the wallpaper and was not only gracious but friendly -- and flattering -- the few times we met.

He was talented, gregarious, curious, and hungry, and he combined those attributes in a unique, influential and thoroughly enjoyable way.

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I was never an eGullet participant, but attended fatguy's Smithsonian Associates talk shortly after the publication of _Turning the Tables_.  He was an engaging speaker who, for better AND worse, democratized the lingo of professional restaurant operations in much the same way that Bourdain's _Kitchen Confidential_ exposed its culture.  And, through this community, we're all once-removed beneficiaries of his legacy.

Shaw was also community leader for invention startup Quirky, which posted this tribute today:
"We Are All Community" in memory of Steven Shaw.

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I never really knew of Steven Shaw, but I found my way to DR.com because of eGullet"”which I suspect may be the case for many of the long-timers on this site"”so I am glad to learn of the accomplishments of, and sad to learn of the untimely death of, this impressive man.

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