“It’s not often that you meet someone in the food business that always has a smile on their face. That was Ed. Whether he was walking in your front door, or you saw him at a benefit or trade show, he always greeted you the same way—with a big smile and asked what he could do for you.” -Chef Fred
Last Tuesday, Ed Hitzel, a local food critic and dear friend of SJ Hotchef’s passed away unexpectedly. Ed was the kind of man filled with joy and passion for life.
Whatever Ed did, he did 100%. He always followed his dreams.
Ed leaves behind a bustling career as a food critic, and radio personality, as-well-as his wife of 33 years, and two beautiful children.
Ed’s family and the entire community shared our respect and admiration for Ed. Ed wasn’t your average guy, and his life showed that.
Ed built a legacy of being brutally honest, and remarkably caring at the same time. He was always a delight to have in our restaurants. When we weren’t at work, Ed was the kind of guy we wanted to be around.
You always got the sense from Ed, that he understood the importance of living in the present.
“Ed was a great guy and could talk about the business forever. He was always interested in what was going on in the restaurant. We were fortunate enough to have met, Ed, at least 15 years ago. We even did his radio show a few times. He was comfortable just talking food with people. It didn’t matter what type of food, he just wanted to talk about it. I will miss Ed coming in the back door of the kitchen and just talking food at any time of the day, Ed was an authentic restaurant guy.” -John Pilarz
Ed hosted a radio show as-well-as establishing a magazine.
Before that, for nearly three decades Ed worked at The Press Atlantic contributing to the culture and community of South Jersey.
We are thankful to have experienced someone like Ed. Genuine, heartfelt, and committed to his craft. Ed was a true friend to everyone who came in contact with him.
As we head into a busy month for SJ Hotchefs, we will certainly miss you, Ed. Thank you for everything, we won’t let you down.