In Memoriam – Lisa Shamai – Jun 1, 1958 – Jan 31, 2015
Realizing now that I had assumed all along that she would beat this, I am deeply saddened today to have learned of the passing of Lisa Shamai, of Lisa Shamai Cuisinerie, at 2am this morning to Cancer. My deepest sympathies to Michael, Ethan, Zoey, her entire family and circle of friends, and the City of Toronto as a whole. Her passing is a loss for us all.
I have not seen Lisa in many years, but she seemed like an essential force, an eternal spirit.
I remember how generous she always was with my volunteers at The Distillery Jazz Festival, making sure people had food and something to drink when they needed it. Mostly, she gave discounts, but I also witnessed her giving food to some of the volunteers that were broke when they looked a bit too grey to work.
She would give the leftovers to them on platters at the end of the night in The Stone Distillery as well. I can only assume that she was equally generous everywhere that she went.
It was fun to see the pleasure on her face when I showed up one day with fresh, homemade pizza for her and HER crew in return, assuming that everyone likes a break from routine. I often think of her when I make pizza, and forever will.
Lisa’s kitchen remains one of the most successful and respected catering companies in Toronto, employing a full-time staff of 20, with an extensive list of on-call staff. Mike Ryan, Lisa’s husband and partner continues to run the company.