Sunday, November 9, 2014

A tribute to David M. Cavanagh (AKA DMC or DMCavanagh)

I "met" David online at Serious Eats, which happens to be where I met a lot of great people. He was passionate ... and opinionated ... about pizza. And dough. And yeast. And mostly pizza.

Recently, David passed on ... to wherever you believe one goes after death. Wherever he is, I hope there are pizza ovens and plenty of flour, water, and yeast.

Adam Kuban posted this announcement:
I'm so sorry to have to post this news, but it looks like David M. Cavanagh ("dmcavanagh" on Serious Eats) passed away on Saturday after a battle with cancer, as per a post on his Facebook timeline.

I don't know how many people knew of his illness and progress. I don't know much beyond that post and the little I had heard from a mutual friend. He was generous with his knowledge and time, and I know he touched many people's lives here both online and IRL.

Charles Turnipseed posted this:
Very sad to see this in my news feed this morning:
"On behalf of my Dad, we regret to inform you that David M. Cavanagh passed away on Saturday after a battle with cancer. We invite you all to join us in saying goodbye on Saturday, November 8 at Myers' Funeral Home in Delmar, NY; visiting hour from 10-11 AM with a memorial service at 11:00 AM. We are grateful for the happiness that you all brought him and hope that you will join us on Saturday."
Anthony and Michelle Cavanagh

Here's David featured in the "Pizza Obsessives" column on Serious Eats.

Maybe Glenn explained our mutual friendships best:
Way back when..... there was no Water Cooler, there was a site called Serious Eats (It's still there). That site had some pretty cool features. One was called TALK. You could engage in discussions about food, cooking, etc., ask questions, answer questions, debate, and alas, go off topic.

A huge part of Serious Eats was Slice, founded by Adam Kuban. Here the talk was pizza, all things pizza.

Anyway, we'd talk pizza, dream about pizza, and debate the finer qualities of said food.

It was here I met Dave. DMCavanagh was his name on the posts. I was Tupper Cooks! DM was an opinionated SOB-he knew his way was right and he never hesitated to let me know! We'd go at it on a Friday afternoon arguing over temps, flour, yeast, water and who knows what!

One thing led to another and we found out we only lived a couple hours away from each other. He had a camp on the river in Ogdensburg, ours was in Cape Vincent. We talked fishing, pizza and god knows what else.

We finally met at Kate's for a pizza party here in Tupper. Kate had a WFO and damn we were gonna make some pies. We did. What a night. Adam and Claire came, with an unseen baby Margot. Diana was there and Anne Marie and Jack. Aya stopped by and made some. I think we made 20 pies that night. No leftovers.

Needless to say our friendship was forged in pizza. We got together 3 more times. Once at Diana's, once to tour the Utica Club Brewery and once at Picken's General Store. We always parted with a plan on what to do the next time we got together. We'd meet on the River and go fishing, then make some pizza maybe.....

The last time I talked to him via FB was about 6 weeks ago. Told me he had a little bad luck, diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, he was on meds and say a prayer. That I did. Tried contacting him a few more times to no avail.

Needless to say DM passed away this past Saturday.

I cried today.

Fucking cancer.

Didn't know you very long my friend, but we had some good times.

Going to miss your wiseass comments!

Peace brother.

    • Glenn Poirier: This was the first time we got together. DM and I prankedDiana when she came to the door, since she'd never seen us in person. Asked if this was where the pizza party was, I said, "No". SHould have seen the look on her face-priceless!

      Diana Horst:
       Ya got me. And then you guys giggled like school girls with delight. Good times and good memories.

Glenn: DM's Cheez It pie. Was pretty damn good.

  • Adam Kuban: I wish I knew exactly what he did with that pizza. I'd like to replicate a version of it in his memory!

    Erin Cox:
     Cheez-it pizza? Do you mean cheesey cracker thin crust?

  • Adam Kuban: No, he made a pizza topped with Cheez-It breadcrumbs! It was his version of a traditional Sicilian sfincione, which is often topped with not much more than sauce, caciocavallo cheese, and breadcrumbs. He put a twist on it by using either straight-up crumbled Cheez-Its or maybe a mixture of Cheez-Its and breadcrumbs.

Glenn: This pic just makes me giggle.

  • Diana Horst I don't remember what was said, but the expressions made me think:
    Dave: It had to be said. When it's wrong it's wrong.

  • Diana Horst Glenn: Strange way of putting it, but I think I know what you mean.
    Diana: Seriously? You dd not just say that.

  • Diana Horst The above imagined conversation was probably quite accurate--most likely involving the "sin" of adding sugar to pizza dough.

In David's honor, there have been a lot of memories posted, a lot of talk about pizza and recipes and pizza, and a bunch of folks have been making pizzas and raising a few slices in his honor ... and a few other recipes as well.

Diana Horst said:
I believe it was Glenn who started calling Dave, who went by dmcavaagh, DMC. Dave and I liked to bust each others chops constantly. We often said we would have a pizza throwdown, and because DMC was stuck in my head the Run DMC and Aerosmith collaboration of Walk This Way became the theme song for our throwdown. I think he was quite amused by my thinking. So, here ya go, peeps. Make pizza, eat some cheese curds and watch this video and think of Dave. 

Deanna McNamara said:
This was DMC's last post and I will make these in his honor.
I know most of you are making pizza, but this is more up my alley. R.I.P. Dave.
(recipe from King Arthur Flour)

Steven J. Perry said:
Well last night it had to be pizza.

Rose Strong said:
RIP...DM Cavannaugh... This is for you!

Judy Kennedy Dawson said:
Here's to you, Mr. DMC!!!

Christine Adams said:
For the pizza man ...

Glen Poirier said:
After watching all those pics of pizza come up today I succumbed! Here's to you DM!

Matt Baird said:
In memory of my friend, Dave Cavanaugh, the pizza man. RIP brother.

Matt continued: I just made this pan pizza in my cast iron skillet, and when it was done, it just slipped right from the pan. No sticking at all. So I figured all I hadda do to clean it, was wipe it out with a paper towel, and like a freakin idiot, I grabbed the handle with my bare hand. Needless to say, I didn't hold the handle for very long!

And here's my pizza offering.
I have no words, because everyone else said it better.

Did you know David Cavanagh? Feel free to leave your comments!