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Steve Zaransky aka stevez

Steve Zaransky aka stevez
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  • Post #31 - July 10th, 2019, 9:06 am
    Post #31 - July 10th, 2019, 9:06 am Post #31 - July 10th, 2019, 9:06 am
    Obituary at Legacy.com

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #32 - July 10th, 2019, 10:52 am
    Post #32 - July 10th, 2019, 10:52 am Post #32 - July 10th, 2019, 10:52 am
    I'm incredibly sad to hear about Steve's passing. My deepest condolences to his family and friends. Like many here, I mainly knew him through his posts and on-line conversations, but had the pleasure to talk with him in person a number of times. I especially enjoyed visiting him at his studio to record a GNR award soundbite. I learned a lot from his posts, both about great food and about being a good on-line citizen. He's given so much to the Chicago food scene and to LTH Forum in particular. I will miss him and his presence here very much.
  • Post #33 - July 10th, 2019, 1:53 pm
    Post #33 - July 10th, 2019, 1:53 pm Post #33 - July 10th, 2019, 1:53 pm
    One of the best, so sorry to hear.
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #34 - July 10th, 2019, 4:33 pm
    Post #34 - July 10th, 2019, 4:33 pm Post #34 - July 10th, 2019, 4:33 pm
    As one far away, I wasn't in on the local knowledge about Steve's condition, so it was a blow up side the face to hear this news.

    I never knew Steve personally, but we have had some wonderful exchanges on the board, particularly about BBQ and Kansas City. I always learned something, and, just as much, was entertained by his sly sense of humour.

    Damn. Condolences to his family, esp. the Chow Poodle, and to you neighbors of his who will totally miss his presence in your life.

    The rest of us will totally miss his presence in our elife.

    RIP Stevez.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #35 - July 11th, 2019, 5:06 pm
    Post #35 - July 11th, 2019, 5:06 pm Post #35 - July 11th, 2019, 5:06 pm
    Managed to find a few pics of Steve and thought I'd share them here . . .

    Image
    Steve presents his first-ever GNR Poster at the 2008 GNR Awards Dinner at Sun Wah

    Image
    Steve and Ed Brill at the 2012 GNR Awards Dinner at Manny's

    Image
    Steve and Tony Hu at the 2012 GNR Awards Dinner at Manny's

    Image
    Steve with the owners of Monti's at the 2013 GNR Awards Dinner at the Half Acre Tap Room

    Image
    Steve with the owner of Kaufman's at the 2015 GNR Awards dinner at Bar DeVille

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #36 - July 11th, 2019, 7:28 pm
    Post #36 - July 11th, 2019, 7:28 pm Post #36 - July 11th, 2019, 7:28 pm
    Ronnie, wonderful pictures, really wonderful!
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #37 - July 11th, 2019, 10:40 pm
    Post #37 - July 11th, 2019, 10:40 pm Post #37 - July 11th, 2019, 10:40 pm
    Found a couple more of Steve and I judging the pie contest at the Morton Grove Farmers Market back in June of 2013 . . .

    Image
    Discussing the various entries

    Image
    Clearly, the man took his responsibilities seriously! :)

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #38 - July 12th, 2019, 2:11 pm
    Post #38 - July 12th, 2019, 2:11 pm Post #38 - July 12th, 2019, 2:11 pm
    Steve Z. was someone I liked and admired: talented, successful in a creative business, well-travelled, and knowledgeable, all while being a personable Chicago-sort of guy. More than just a Man of the World, I'd call him a "Mensch of the World."

    Certainly, many of us recognized Steve's knowledge and skills in gastronomy and photography, but here I get the chance to reveal a lesser-known accomplishment of his, one that most of us were unaware of...including me for quite awhile.

    Around 1969, while I was still in high school, I became associated with a band called Stonehenge--two electric guitars, amped-up drums, and a female lead singer. Having a miniskirted girl up front and no bass player on stage was a bit atypical for an acid-rock band at that time, though the lack of a bass line in most songs was largely hidden by cranking-up the volume to level-10 and injecting massive amounts of feedback. (Hey, this was acid-rock in the late 60's; it wasn't mere noise, it was, like, Psychedelic Power, man!)

    Anyway, the reason there was no bass player when I first got involved with Stonehenge was because, until shortly beforehand, there *used* to be one, but he'd recently left the band. Being a couple of years older than me, he'd already just finished high school, and was getting ready to move out west to Seattle. So then the band had to shift to performing without a bass in the mix.

    Incidentally, I did briefly meet the guy once, when he stopped by to visit the band one last time before he left town. In fact he even wrote down his address in my little address book just in case I also made it out to Seattle sometime. It was cool of him to do that for someone he didn't really know...although he couldn't recall what his new address was right then, so he put his current Chicago address in my book instead, assuming any mail would get forwarded to him. But it didn't matter because I never tried sending any mail, and it wasn't long before I simply forgot about the whole thing, distracted by the glamour of doing weekend gigs like the Young Republicans Convention and hiding their beer in our equipment cases when the cops showed up....

    Fast-forward to 2018, now, and picture me in my basement perusing some old address books that I'd packed away long ago, and had just rediscovered: I'm idly turning pages, remembering people whose names I hadn't thought of for decades. Then, on one of the last pages of the book from my high school years, I'm startled to see "Zaransky, Steve"! It's in unfamiliar handwriting along with an unrecognized address and phone number (which Steve will later verify as having belonged to his parents back then.)

    "That's amazing. I was the bass player...Small world!" Steve said to me when he realized we'd had that momentary crossing of paths, so many years ago.

    Small world indeed. And sadly for us, it's now even smaller with the loss of our amiable and respected compatriot...and one-time acid-rock bass guitarist in a not-quite-world-famous Chicago band, circa '69.

    Still, to his lasting credit, and to our continued benefit for having had him in our lives, Steve Zaransky will be fondly remembered and valued--a vivid and richly varied thread in the weave of our mutual fabric.

    --mhl
  • Post #39 - July 12th, 2019, 4:15 pm
    Post #39 - July 12th, 2019, 4:15 pm Post #39 - July 12th, 2019, 4:15 pm
    Mike Sula posted a lovely piece about Steve at the Reader's website.

    at chicagoreader.com, Mike Sula wrote:Food-focused folk over at LTHForum this week are mourning the passing of Steve Zaransky, one of its earliest, most knowledgeable, and most prolific posters—and an all-around mensch. I was among many fortunate to share lots of unforgettable food with stevez (his handle), some of which he cooked himself.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #40 - July 13th, 2019, 2:35 pm
    Post #40 - July 13th, 2019, 2:35 pm Post #40 - July 13th, 2019, 2:35 pm
    boudreaulicious wrote:There’s so much to say but, for many of us, it’s going to take some time to get our thoughts together.


    I've been trying to wrap my head around his passing, just a few days ago he was with us, feeling weak, but still thinking about his beloved LTH and all the food he loved. His was irritated that his treatment changed his taste buds, one bite of a char polish and he couldn't eat any more, on the other hand a cuban sandwich from Cafecito hit the spot as did Aroy and dim sum from Phoenix.

    Jefe wrote:I'm saddened by this news. Deepest condolences to his family, friends, and all of us who were graced by his warm smile.

    In my early days at the forum, when I was green and self conscious about posting, at every turn, it seemed like Steve was there to disagree with me. And as I came out of my LTH shell and encountered Steve IRL, I was shy about approaching someone with such strong opinions who seemed to come from a different walk of life and generation.

    And then we were seated across from each other at an In-On Thai dinner. Not only did we agree on many, many things we both enjoyed eating, Steve was totally engaged with getting to know me. And we laughed out loud all night. We were buds from then on.

    Steve embodied the most remarkable aspect of this website, its ability to bring people from seemingly different backgrounds together to break bread, find common ground, and share a laugh or two.


    Jefe, thank you, you expressed my feelings so well. My first dinner with Steve was at the namesake Little Three Happiness that he'd organized, his kindness to newcomers was so sweet, he wanted everyone to feel included. I was lucky to get to know him and his lovely wife and call them friends, I feel like I lost a part of myself with his passing, it's a solace to see the tributes to him on here and to know how much he was a part of LTH and all out lives on here. Good-by dear friend.
    For what we choose is what we are. He should not miss this second opportunity to re-create himself with food. Jim Crace "The Devil's Larder"
  • Post #41 - July 13th, 2019, 3:47 pm
    Post #41 - July 13th, 2019, 3:47 pm Post #41 - July 13th, 2019, 3:47 pm
    So sorry to hear this!
    Once I complained about my teflon-coated adjustable rack, and he offered me an uncoated one for nothing in return. This was probably a decade ago and I still remember hanging out in his kitchen.
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love

    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach

    I write fiction. You can find me—and some stories—on Facebook, Twitter and my website.
  • Post #42 - July 13th, 2019, 6:01 pm
    Post #42 - July 13th, 2019, 6:01 pm Post #42 - July 13th, 2019, 6:01 pm
    mhl wrote:"That's amazing. I was the bass player...Small world!" Steve said to me when he realized we'd had that momentary crossing of paths, so many years ago.
    --mhl


    Amazing story!

    I really wish I could have chatted with Steve about this. I had no idea of his acid rockin hipster past!
  • Post #43 - July 13th, 2019, 9:04 pm
    Post #43 - July 13th, 2019, 9:04 pm Post #43 - July 13th, 2019, 9:04 pm
    Thanks so much for everyone's memories, and especially for Ronnie's photos. Such a loss.
  • Post #44 - July 15th, 2019, 7:23 am
    Post #44 - July 15th, 2019, 7:23 am Post #44 - July 15th, 2019, 7:23 am
    Jefe wrote:
    mhl wrote:"That's amazing. I was the bass player...Small world!" Steve said to me when he realized we'd had that momentary crossing of paths, so many years ago.
    --mhl


    Amazing story!

    I really wish I could have chatted with Steve about this. I had no idea of his acid rockin hipster past!


    A bit more on the musical part of our buddy. Besides being one of three food rabbis I aquired via LTH, he was also a musical rabbi for me. Few may know that besides video he was a pro soundman-- did international tours, worked on WTTW Soundstage... I play some oddball percussion instruments, some rarely seen/used on stage and was having a problem mic-ing one on live gigs (berimbau). Went to Steve, told him my issue, after a few mins he goes through his significant mic collection and hands me one saying "this is what you need". I say, great I'll buy one, and he says "no, take this" and has been used on every gig since.

    There were still a couple restaurants we meant to get to, but his generosity, kindness, knowledge and humor are what I am missing most.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #45 - July 15th, 2019, 10:51 am
    Post #45 - July 15th, 2019, 10:51 am Post #45 - July 15th, 2019, 10:51 am
    I stick mostly to the online side of LTH so I never got to meet Steve but his posts we always a welcome addition to a topic and he was clearly a prolific eater and friend to a lot of people. It will certainly be a real loss to such a small community. Condolences to his family and friends.
  • Post #46 - July 15th, 2019, 12:15 pm
    Post #46 - July 15th, 2019, 12:15 pm Post #46 - July 15th, 2019, 12:15 pm
    I am still absorbing the sad news of Steve's passing. Many have posted here about being welcomed into the LTH community by him, and one of the most vivid recollections I have of Steve was meeting him for the first time at an event. I remember his sincerity in explaining the purpose of the group, and I resonated with his emphasis on sharing and the experience of eating together -- something that is about much more than just the food. I remember Steve as a secure and caring person. This clearly reflects on the love and care he received from Chow Poodle and the rest of his family and closest friends. He was compassionate and generous, and generous with his compassion. He was helpful, though never intrusive, because he was a natural helper, and a modest one. Like so many who have posted their thoughts here, I will miss Steve very much. My deepest condolences to Julie and the Zaransky family, to his close friends, and to all who worked with him over the years. I am very sorry that both distance and current circumstances prevent me from attending tomorrow's memorial.
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #47 - July 15th, 2019, 12:54 pm
    Post #47 - July 15th, 2019, 12:54 pm Post #47 - July 15th, 2019, 12:54 pm
    Antonius and I are so sorry to hear this news. Our deepest condolences to Steve's family.
  • Post #48 - July 15th, 2019, 4:39 pm
    Post #48 - July 15th, 2019, 4:39 pm Post #48 - July 15th, 2019, 4:39 pm
    I haven't been active on LTH since I moved back to Virginia roughly six years ago, but I saw someone mention stevez's passing on Twitter and wanted to come and leave a note.

    When I moved to Chicago many years ago and started participating in LTH, Steve was one of the folks that welcomed me in to the community and made me feel at home at LTH events. Over the years I was fortunate enough to share a number of meals with him at gatherings large and small, and always enjoyed his company, warmth, and enthusiasm.

    My sincere condolences to Chow Poodle.

    -Dan
  • Post #49 - July 15th, 2019, 5:01 pm
    Post #49 - July 15th, 2019, 5:01 pm Post #49 - July 15th, 2019, 5:01 pm
    Been a long time since I posted here, but I would never have become a food writer without this forum, and thus never would have done so without the support and knowledge and friendship of Steve (and also Jazzfood and Hammond and Wiviott and Ronnie and Gebert and Cathy2 and Morowitz and Sula and AB and so many more). I didn't go to a lot of LTH events, but I do remember slamming whiskey and Old Fashioned Donuts with Steve at Delilah's a long time ago. Steve was always supportive and enthusiastic and knowledgeable. My best to his family and everyone in this community who will miss him.
    MJN "AKA" Michael Nagrant
    http://www.michaelnagrant.com
  • Post #50 - July 15th, 2019, 5:04 pm
    Post #50 - July 15th, 2019, 5:04 pm Post #50 - July 15th, 2019, 5:04 pm
    Found this tremendous shot of Steve -- taken by RAB -- on the 2010 picnic thread . . .

    Image
    stevez gets ready to slice into his smoked brisket

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #51 - July 15th, 2019, 5:20 pm
    Post #51 - July 15th, 2019, 5:20 pm Post #51 - July 15th, 2019, 5:20 pm
    A couple more from the LTH Media Library . . .

    Image
    stevez, Jazzfood and myself outside Bar DeVille, 2014

    Image
    Steve volunteering in the kitchen at the Salvation Army Holiday Meal, 2010 photo by G Wiv

    Image
    Steve volunteering in the kitchen at the Salvation Army Holiday Meal, 2008 photo by G Wiv

    Image
    Steve volunteering in the kitchen at the Salvation Army Holiday Meal, 2007 photo by G Wiv

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #52 - July 15th, 2019, 6:38 pm
    Post #52 - July 15th, 2019, 6:38 pm Post #52 - July 15th, 2019, 6:38 pm
    With each photo, the loss is more keenly felt.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #53 - Yesterday, 7:05 am
    Post #53 - Yesterday, 7:05 am Post #53 - Yesterday, 7:05 am
    Terrible news, which came as a bit of shock as I didn't know Steve wasn't doing well. I last saw him this past Winter when we met up to try Morena's but it was randomly closed. We ended up next door at Minna's which Steve likened to some of his favorite street side stands in Puerto Vallarta. I always looked fwd to seeing a SteveZ post as well as seeing him in person. As one of the originals here he had great influence on me and my endeavors. Just an all around good guy that's gone to soon. A huge loss for all the communities he was a part of. Condolences to the Chow Poodle and the rest of his family*.

    *I met SteveZ before I even knew he was SteveZ from this site as his nephew was a friend of mine. RIP.
  • Post #54 - Yesterday, 7:36 am
    Post #54 - Yesterday, 7:36 am Post #54 - Yesterday, 7:36 am
    Being away from Chicago, I just now learned of Steve's passing, and it reminded me of the various occasions on which we dined together under LTH auspices (and at least once privately), but also about the nature of our community. We have been together for just over 15 years now, and have shared so many memories together. We have lost a few beloved members and gained many during that time and as we reach 20 years and 25 years and 50 years there will be others, but there will also be continuing threads as well.

    We have lost a key and loved member and mourn his loss, and, at the same time, this thread reveals that we are still a place of togetherness and communal history. Thank you to all those who have made this possible: SteveZ and many others.
    Toast, as every breakfaster knows, isn't really about the quality of the bread or how it's sliced or even the toaster. For man cannot live by toast alone. It's all about the butter. -- Adam Gopnik
  • Post #55 - Yesterday, 8:09 am
    Post #55 - Yesterday, 8:09 am Post #55 - Yesterday, 8:09 am
    Thanks for posting those pix Ronnie. That day @ Salvation Army w/the 100 lbs of collards was memorable. He kept looking @ me like I was crazy and teased me about it for months. And that shot of us @ DeVille we took for the Home Cookin' article on the two of you... https://www.lthforum.com/2014/04/home-cookin-4-stevez/

    A profound loss.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #56 - Yesterday, 8:57 am
    Post #56 - Yesterday, 8:57 am Post #56 - Yesterday, 8:57 am
    Jazzfood wrote:Thanks for posting those pix Ronnie. That day @ Salvation Army w/the 100 lbs of collards was memorable. He kept looking @ me like I was crazy and teased me about it for months. And that shot of us @ DeVille we took for the Home Cookin' article on the two of you... https://www.lthforum.com/2014/04/home-cookin-4-stevez/

    A profound loss.

    Alan- I'm so glad you linked to your conversation with Steve. It was great to reread it.
    -Mary
  • Post #57 - Yesterday, 9:30 am
    Post #57 - Yesterday, 9:30 am Post #57 - Yesterday, 9:30 am
    HI,

    I learned a lot about SteveZ when I attended his Father's funeral a few years ago. One particular story stands out:

    They often dined at a restaurant in a hotel his father managed. When the service ended, his father would sign the bill to be paid later. Steve was very impressed by this gesture and once insisted on signing the bill. To Steve's surprise, his father invoiced him for the meal and expected payment. It was a hard earned lesson for Steve, who did not volunteer to sign again until he could easily pay.

    Since his family dined out more in his youth than anyone else I knew. He was a source of information for long gone restaurants. One recent query was about 'Well of the Sea' restaurant in the Sherman House, across the street from a hotel his Dad managed. Early on he was ready to do an oral history about this place. Alas that won't happen now, though I am sure it would have been full of interesting detail.

    We once met at the Buffalo Restaurant in Arlington Heights to try their ice cream confections. While visually the ice presentations looked like those from the Buffalo Ice Cream Parlor at Irving Park and Pulaski. Steve immediately identified the hot fudge did not have the bitter sweet component he loved. I remembered the visual, but frankly could not have identified the hot fudge one way or another.

    Once at his home, he smoked a bacon wrapped meatloaf. He declared he was testing it for the LTH picnic. I really liked what he made and looked forward to trying it again. By the time the picnic came around, he now declared the bacon wrapped meatloaf as passe and made something very different.

    Time is fleeting for recipes, memories and people's lives.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #58 - Yesterday, 10:23 am
    Post #58 - Yesterday, 10:23 am Post #58 - Yesterday, 10:23 am
    I don't think I can add anything to what's been said before — I always enjoyed seeing Steve at multiple LTH events, and learned a lot from his posts. I hope he's reading all these comments from wherever he is now.
  • Post #59 - Yesterday, 10:58 am
    Post #59 - Yesterday, 10:58 am Post #59 - Yesterday, 10:58 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Found this tremendous shot of Steve -- taken by RAB -- on the 2010 picnic thread . . .

    Image
    stevez gets ready to slice into his smoked brisket

    =R=

    Image
    This is how I'll always remember him,
    and especially always remember that brisket!
    I don't think I've ever had a better one...
    "If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home."
    ~James Michener

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