Foodies, chefs, restauratuers and all lovers of life were saddened to learn of the passing of Garry Maxwell. Garry was a big guy with big appetites and all of us who knew him will miss Garry dearly. I was helping to decorate our family Christmas tree the other night when Garry's longtime friend David Berkowitz told me Garry had died in hospital. Garry and I were friends, but I hadn't seen him in quite a while. I immediately broke into tears remembering Garry's big, big heart, which is probably what finally did him in.
Garry was a restless chef, who moved frequently from kitchen to kitchen. I seem to remember him first working at Squatters and Fuggles, and then at his own restaurant, which I loved: Cafe Bacchus. Along the way he also cooked at or consulted with Campagna, 3rd & Main, Panache, Big City Soups, Sundance Resort, Piper Down and a host of other eateries I've forgotten.
Garry's culinary palate was impeccable -- a fact that, frankly, surprised me since he always reeked of ciggy smoke. His laugh was as infectious as his (sometimes) temper was feared. Garry didn't suffer fools gladly, but he sure knew how to have a good time. The folks at Squatters even named their oatmeal stout for Garry: Captain Bastard's.
Squatters will host a wake for Garry Maxwell on Sunday, Dec. 13, from 4 to 9 PM. According to David Berkowitz, who along with a number of local chefs is creating the menu for the event, the food will consist of many of Garry's favorite recipes, including his popular lamb ribs from 3rd & Main, shredded hoisen duck tostada and lots, lots more. It'll be a celebration of Garry and the food and drink he loved. A $20 donation is asked from those who can afford it and there'll be a cash bar, bagpipes, and many, many fond remembrances of Garry from those of us who loved him. I suspect more than a few Captain Bastard Oatmeal Stouts will be drunk in his honor.