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In Loving Memory of Ryan Nadolny

For the last nearly two years, Ryan Nadolny has been an integral part of Food Fanatic. His wit, passion for food, love of a good hot sauce, easy sense of humor and undeniable charm were easily expressed through his limitless writing talent.

It is with broken hearts that we extend an unexpected farewell to our friend.

Ryan Nadolny Photo

I first met Ryan through his writing. He reached out in response to a call for writers in a foodie Facebook group we both frequented and I instantly knew that this guy was absolutely the “it guy.”

The writing sample he sent had me laughing, smiling and nodding my head knowingly. This guy had talent, that much was clear, but I could also tell he was someone I was going to genuinely enjoy working with every day.

Ryan and I bonded easily and nearly immediately over our mutual love of our similarly aged little girls and our shared commitment to our families.

He quickly became a friend and a trusted collaborator. We’d kick around ideas, brainstorm together and Ryan consistently delivered – always with a side of humor to his writing that was truly noteworthy and unique.

As an editor, working with Ryan was seamless. I learned quickly that I could trust him to write just about anything I tossed his way and he’d always throw his whole, authentic self into the work.

Over the last couple of years we developed an immensely rewarding professional relationship and shared big goals for how we might shape the future of Food Fanatic together as a team.

In truth, I haven’t had much of a chance to wrap my head around Ryan’s unexpected passing, but I knew it was deeply important to hold space in this moment to honor this incredible human. The grief is new, the pain is raw and I already miss talking with him throughout the day.

Ryan recently introduced himself to a new colleague in a way that has proven particularly meaningful in light of his passing. His words in introducing himself sum up beautifully so much of who our friend was.

I’m a father to two amazing little girls that are my entire world. When we’re not on a random adventure, I’m writing, cooking, eating, or building something in my wood shop…I’m a big believer in compassion over comprehension and will go to battle for anyone that needs help fighting the good fight. Overall, I try not to take life too seriously, which I know my girls can attest to.

We were lucky enough to have Ryan join the Food Fanatic team following a 15 year career in fine dining. Ryan knew his stuff when it came to food, wine and mixology, all of which he expertly shared with Food Fanatic readers in a manner that was informative, relatable, entertaining and joy-filled.

He’s the kind of person you immediately knew you wanted to hang out with while he cooked circles around the kitchen, never forgetting to refill your drink.

While I was never lucky enough to have that experience, something tells me there are many friends and family members of Ryan’s who can attest to just such a thing happening on the regular – he was just that kind of guy.

Ryan leaves behind his beloved wife, Sarah, whom he always spoke of with an incredibly deep love and pride. He is also survived by his two little girls and his two grown stepdaughters, all of whom were regular stars in his stories.

Ryan’s love for all of his girls was always top of mind and a regular part of our daily banter – his role as a father and a husband was something that he cherished deeply, and our hearts go out to his family in their time of grief.

I invite you to read Ryan’s obituary and to join the Food Fanatic family in a toast to Ryan and the legacy of laughter and love he leaves behind.

In Ryan’s memory, I encourage you to throw a steak on the grill and to pour yourself a glass of the “good wine” you’ve been saving for a special occasion.

May Ryan’s passing remind us all to hug more often, forgive more quickly and remember that every day is a special occasion worthy of the good stuff, because no day is promised but today.

This one’s for you, Ryan. You are deeply missed.

In Loving Memory of Ryan Nadolny