Walter Hyde (right) at Dinner in the Dark event.
Over the weekend, the Cleveland culinary community lost one of its most beloved members. Walter Hyde, a chef with boundless talent, enthusiasm and kindness, passed away just hours after cooking for friends and guests at an event at Terrestrial Brewery. His death rippled throughout the region in the days since, with many sharing stories of his immeasurable generosity, which touched so many people over the years.
Hyde, who could be mistaken for a Hells Angels member, was a Swiss army knife inside the kitchen and out. Over the years, his skills were on display at various restaurants, including Swingo's, Giovanni's and Fahrenheit Charlotte. In 2010, he and partner Scott Slagle opened Fat Casual BBQ in Macedonia, which drew rave reviews by barbecue lovers for its authentic smoked meats. There, the sauce came on the side because, as Hyde told me, "We don't want to hide the flavor of the meat. Sauce, like smoke, is just an ingredient. The meat always has to come first.”
Hyde and Slagle went on to open Tavern of Solon, Hyde cooked amazing burgers at the Annex Bar in Solon and he took over the 40-year-old Daisy’s Ice Cream in Slavic Village, thus saving it from the wrecking ball. Along the way he contributed his time, skill and joyful spirit to countless events and fundraisers like Dinner in the Dark.
To say that Hyde will be missed is an understatement; his kindness touched so many people in so many ways.
Drink a pickle back in his honor and donate to the GoFundMe page
that has been established to help his family deal with the expenses associated with his passing.