Josh Ozersky, Acclaimed Food Writer, Dead at 47

The founding editor of Grub Street died at a Chicago hotel while in town for the James Beard Foundation Awards


Josh Ozersky, acclaimed food writer for Esquire and founding editor of Grub Street was found dead at a Chicago hotel on Monday. He was 47.

Ozersky, of Portland, Oregon, was pronounced dead on the scene at 11.40 a.m. at the Conrad Chicago Hotel, 521 N. Rush St. and the cause is still unknown, according to the medical examiner’s office, reported the Chicago Tribune.

Ozersky was in town for the James Beard Foundation Awards and was a member of its awards committee.

“He was an advocate for maximimalist food. He loved meat, and he saw great meat-cookery as the ultimate expression of culinary culture,” said John T. Edge, director of the Southern Foodways Alliance and noted food writer who attended Monday’s Beard awards. “He bared his soul through writing about food and set a standard for that sort of writing. Everything he did was overwrought and purposefully so. He didn’t apologize for that. He wore his emotion and love of food on his sleeve.”

The founding editor of New York Magazine’s food blog, Grub Street, Ozersky was a a frequent contributor to Time, Wall Street Journal, and Food & Wine, and was also the author of “The Hamburger: A History” (2008) and “Meat Me In Manhattan: A Carnivore’s Guide to New York City” (2003).

He recently relocated to Portland and founded Meatopia, an annual carnivore celebration that traveled the nation.

Ozersky’s body will be examined Tuesday, according to the medical examiner’s office.