Josh Ozersky's Devastating 2015 Death

Josh Ozersky was a famed American food blogger, writer, and self-proclaimed "author, gastronome, bon vivant ... noted polymath and deviant." He first rose to food writing fame with his book "Meat Me in Manhattan," which is the definitive guide to ordering the best cuts of steak in New York City (via New York Times). In the world of professional food writers, Ozersky distinguished himself by coming out of blogging, stating in a 2013 Munchies interview, "I had a very, very intense, specific, sort of a personal feeling about food that I was able to express in a very singular and characteristic way at a time where that particular commodity was highly valued. This kind of broken-down fragmentation of the media has allowed me to flourish in spite of my vices and shortcomings."

Ozersky was one of the founders of Grub Street, a writer for Esquire, and contributor to publications like Time magazine (via New York Times). Known for his love of meat (and expertise on bacon), Ozersky also founded the international food festival called Meatopia and gained recognition from the James Beard Awards. In fact, he was in Chicago to attend the ceremony before his shocking death in 2015.

Josh Ozersky found dead at age 47

Ozersky had just moved to Portland, Oregon with his wife a few months prior to his unexpected death. According to the New York Times, Ozersky was found dead in his hotel room at age 47 on Monday, May 4, 2015. Earlier that same day, friends had spotted him enjoying life, drinking, and eating at a karaoke lounge. The cause of death was initially unknown, but Eater later reported that the Cook County Medical Examiner's office ruled the death as an accident, in which Ozersky drowned in the shower after experiencing a seizure.

Ozersky's death sent waves of shock throughout the food community, which was gathered for the James Beard Awards at the Lyric Opera. He was an opinionated food writer that drew ire (Ozersky got called out for getting free food at his wedding and was even banned from Momofoku) and admiration alike, but his legacy in writing lasts to this day.

The legacy of Josh Ozersky

Despite the controversy and "enemies" Ozersky made with his writing, many were moved to write tributes to his life and legacy. Shortly after Ozersky's death, his close friend and chef John Tesar wrote a touching tribute to the late writer for Bon Appétit, writing that "despite his awkward, disturbing individuality and crass, almost barbaric nature, he had a brilliant mind, a silver tongue, and a heart of gold. He was challenging by his very nature. He was misunderstood and disliked by many as well."

Tom Junod wrote a touching essay for Esquire on what Ozersky taught us about meat, and Adam Platt memorialized him on the popular New York food blog he founded, calling him "A True Grub Street Intellectual." Fried chicken chain KFC even donated a whopping $15,000 to his memorial fund. And while Ozersky might be gone, his love of meat has endured: Meat merchants Turner & George of London offer J-O burgers in honor of the later Meatopia founder.