I was deeply saddened earlier today when my wife and I got an SMS from a friend. It was soon followed by other SMSes and several phone calls. Respected journalist, awe-inspiring foodie and family friend R.W. Apple Jr passed away yesterday, at the age of 71. I consider myself fortunate to have gotten to know Johnny, as his friends called him, over the past few years. I feel especially honored that this blog was mentioned in one of the last pieces he filed for The New York Times. He was an amazing man, the kind of person that inspires, entertains and enthralls. He was totally unique. And he will be missed.

For those who might not know Johnny, I’ve attached a link to one of the best stories ever written about him right here. It was written by his long-time friend and fellow foodie Calvin Trillin and ran in The New Yorker in 2003. The story wonderfully illustrates what an amazing man he truly was.

About Aun Koh

Aun has always loved food and travel, passions passed down to him from his parents. This foundation, plus a background in media, pushed him to start Chubby Hubby in 2005. He loves that this site allows him to write about the things he adores--food, style, travel, his wife and his three kids!



5 October 2006


I’m sorry to hear that, CH.

My condolences on the loss of your friend. May you find peace with this tragedy.


One of my favorite writers. Journalist doesn’t even begin to describe his unique profession, as he bridged the world of news reporting with his adventures in food and wine. There will be no other one like him.

Heard the news from ST Life today.. it was sad. Had just forwarded that NYtimes article to some friends last week.

This goes back to what you said about food being an art form. His pieces were truely amazing stuff, great proses and always witty. We’ve lost a great voice there.

For a write up on Singapore, too bad he didn’t even mentioned about Justin Quek, and Graze ahouldn’t even be in his article.

Dear Anonymous, of course he wouldn’t mention Justin because Justin no longer has a restaurant in Singapore. He’s based in Taipei and will be moving to Shanghai in December.

I left a comment to you on 10/03/06, the day the Singapore column showed up in the NYT. Imagine my (sad) surprise when the next time I read about RW Apple, it was his obituary. No need to wallow…I would imagine he’d urge, “carry on, eat and drink heartily, and be merry!”

Oh I didn’t know – very sad news. What an extraordinary writer and person (as I recall from the New Yorker story).You were indeed lucky to meet him..

Dear ‘Chubby Hubby’ (Mr Koh?)

Your tribute to Mr Apple was, I felt, most sincere with a dignified, respectful distance which said much about Mr Apple and yourself, and your mutual interests in good food.

I wish I could say this about a recent article about Mr Apple that I read recently in the Mainstream Media – which unfortunately I am unable to. That seemed to me to be rather more self-serving.

Your tribute is a salutary one in all senses of the term.

Ananda Rajah

What a nice tribute. I was a fan of Johnny Apple’s political reporting long before he started covering good things to eat and drink. I always thought he had the ideal job — the best of all worlds: writing, politics, food. I never met him, but wish I had. We’ll miss him a lot.

I didn’t know Johnny, but I always looked forward to his articles. He had the best job in the world, and you were fortunate to have known him. He will be missed.

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