For the past ten days, we Portlanders have been mourning the death of Robert Reynolds. A champion of thoughtfully prepared food, Robert was the proprietor of Chef’s Studio, a local cooking school. There, in short courses and weeks-long classes, he sharpened the culinary skills of many people — professionals and home cooks alike. One of Robert’s fortunate students, Dinner Guest blogger Caroline Lewis, recalls in her tribute to him that he was “an inspiring, funny, maddening, generous, and patient teacher.” Isn’t that always the best kind?
I knew Robert a little and always felt pleased to run into him; he was unfailingly encouraging. I’m awfully sorry not to have that opportunity again — and that I missed my chance to study with him. My husband and I had been trying to make time for a class with Robert over the last year, but we didn’t quite manage to set it up. Our loss.
A few years ago, around the time Robert was diagnosed with the lymphoma that he would battle for the rest of his life, he signed off an email to me, “I’d love to see you and talk, and hopefully make a plan for cooking together.” Maybe, in Robert’s honor, we can each call up a good friend and make time for exactly that.
Kim Carlson Editorial Director
P.S. For those of you who want to read more about the life and work of Robert Reynolds, you might refer to recent and past stories by Camas Davis, Grant Butler, and Mike Thelin.