Who The Food World Lost in 2012

Food industry deaths in the past year

Sylvia Woods, the owner of Harlem landmark Sylvia's, passed away in 2012

In 2012, the culinary world lost some bright lights. From well-known filmmakers and inventors of foods we know and love to the founder of Sbarro Pizza, no branch of the culinary world was spared.

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Nora Ephron, who brought Julia Child to life in Julie and Julia, was a major loss, and the inventors of such popular food items as Lender’s Bagels and Red Bull were also lost this year. As were several chefs and restaurateurs, including Nashville’s Mario Ferrari, New York’s Sylvia Woods, and "Mama" Sbarro, who all passed.

The world of wine and liquor also wasn’t spared, as David Taub, who’s credited with popularizing pinot grigio, and Thomas Pastorius, the founder of Penn Brewery, both died. TV chef Art Ginsburg, better known as Mr. Food, also passed away at age 81.

There were also tragic deaths of younger chefs, including two of Heston Blumenthal’s chefs, Canadian celebrity chef Anthony Sedlak, and a Chinese chef who accidentally cooked himself the world’s deadliest mushroom.


Read on for more of those the food industry lost in 2012. We’ve separated the list into chefs; restaurateurs; wine, beer and liquor names; entrepreneurs; and writers.

Dan Myers is the Eat/Dine Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @sirmyers.