Sad news was announced on Friday evening that Amy Pressman, baker, mother of two, and the force behind this month's greatly anticipated opening of Short Order and Short Cake, passed away at age 53 on Friday morning following a six-month battle with cancer. The L.A. Times recounts Pressman's career as the founder of Pasadena's Old Town Bakery and a partner in projects like Parkway Grill. In a statement issued from Short Order's media reps, many of Pressman's close friends and partners, including Bill Chait and Nancy Silverton, shared their memories and sadness in honor of their departed sister.
The statement reads:
Los Angeles, September 30, 2011 - With great sadness, the Pressman family and close friends wish to convey that Amy Pressman succumbed to cancer Friday morning following the celebration of the Jewish New Year. Amy had been privately battling cancer the last six months while continuing to work tirelessly on Short Order and Short Cake - the culminating project of her career that she affectionately referred to as her “swan song and happy ending."
Amy will be greatly missed by so many that she touched in so many ways. She is survived by her mother Muriel Nellis, brother Adam Pressman, fianc├ę Rob Beckham, Michael Weiss, and two sons, Joshua Pressman and Sean Weiss. Amy was an incredible mother beloved by her sons and is already greatly missed. A symbolic New Year couldn’t be more fitting a day to begin a celebration of the life of a great mother, a wonderful chef and partner, and a dear friend to so many people.
“This past Wednesday, Amy came to my home to barbeque burgers and make final adjustments in preparation of the upcoming opening of Short Order. I knew she was hurting, but her will and determination to complete this project she was of so passionate about won out that day over her pain. When I heard today that she had passed away, I was heartbroken. But, I know her beautiful spirit will be alive and well at Short Order and Short Cake and in my heart forever. My love goes out to Rob, her sons and her mother.” - Nancy Silverton, Longtime Friend & Partner, Short Order/Short Cake
“Amy was the one of the singularly most passionate people I have ever met. She was more than my partner. She was my sister. She will be with me the rest of my life and there is no advocate I would rather have by my side. For me, there will never be a moment where I eat a piece of cake, or now, a burger, without thinking fondly of my dearest friend. Thank you, Amy.” - Bill Chait, Longtime Friend & Managing Partner, Short Order/Short Cake
“I feel so privileged to have Amy in my heart. Her strength bound my heart to hers.” - Aileen Getty
“Amy was a remarkable, driven woman with a heart of gold. She was a tenacious fighter who never gave up on what she believed in. Amy would stop at nothing to obtain the desired results, whatever she was working on. She was a very talented chef, with a passion for pleasing others. A wonderful friend, business associate, and so much more, she will be truly missed.” - Michael Glick, Longtime Friend & Business Associate
Pressman's family is requesting privacy and for donations to esophageal cancer research and Union Station Homeless Services in Pasadena to be made in lieu of flowers, with updates for a fund in Pressman's name to be detailed later today. Right now, friends are remembering Pressman on a Friends of Amy Pressman Facebook page. Short Order and Short Cake are still scheduled to open this month, giving the rest of us a chance to pay tribute to Pressman at what she called her "happy ending."