Pandi from 2006

13 Feb

Pandi from 2006Don Winkler found this photo of Pandi recently in his collection.

It is from 2006, shot while Pandi was visiting Albert. Note his signature raised eyebrow and his mouth in the always-ready-to-add-his-opinions position, whether you like them or not. Pandi would have approved these comments.


Memorial Slideshow

30 Jan

The below slideshow was put together by Janet Uren for the January 22, 2011 memorial in Ottawa. Some of the photos are in other posts in the Blog. But, there are many that will be new.

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As with all the slideshows seen on this Blog, you can advance, reverse or stop the slides by clicking on the navigation you see when you hover your mouse over the photos.

Can you imagine how honored Pandi would feel by the effort of everyone who lovingly contributed to the slideshow and the rest of this Blog? What wonderful friends he had. I’m glad I got to be one.
– Janet Zagoria

A Caricature of Pandi by Robert Zend

30 Jan

Janine Zend sent the below scan from a book by Robert in which there is a caricature of Pandi.

The book is:
Fából vaskarikatúrák, A Volume of Parodies by Robert Zend
© Janine Zend, Publishers Magyar Vildg Kiadó, 1993

Fából vaskarikatúrák is a 1993 posthumous publication of Robert Zend’s poems and visuals.

Janine noted:
The English translation of Fából vaskarikatúrák is difficult, as it is a pun in Hungarian. It is: Caricatures: Squaring the Circle

The Hungarian idiomatic expression is best rendered by “squaring the circle” but also contains the word caricatures. I feel that caricature (done in 1978) captured the quintessential Pandi and think he liked it, too.

Pandi in Montreal circa 1978

27 Jan

Thanks to Janine Zend for sending these photos. The first 3 were taken by Robert Zend in Montreal circa 1978. The last one, Pandi in cap and tie, was given to Robert by Pandi. Robert entitled it: “The Globetrotter.”

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Robert Zend was Janine’s husband and Natalie’s father. He immigrated to Toronto from Budapest in 1957 and was a published poet and writer in both English and Hungarian. He was a good friend of George Nemet, Albert Kish, Gefin and, of course, Pandi as well as other Hungarian émigrés whom he met in Montreal. Although Robert  never lived in Montreal, he often went there for weekend visits in the 1960s and 70s.

The Film: “Hold the Ketchup”

26 Jan

A film by Albert Kish
Written and researched by George Pandi

This short documentary is about newcomers to Canadians and what they eat. Funny, mouth-watering and visually delectable, it takes us into the specialty food shops where the ingredients are bought, and into the homes where the food is prepared and served in the traditional way.

You can view it online for free here:

Available through The National Film Board of Canada for purchase:

by Lois Siegel
All photos by Lois Siegel

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The smaller photos are from a proofsheet and the large photo of the older woman eating the marshmallow were taken during the filming.

The documentary was completed in 1977. We must have shot it during the summer of 1976. This is where I first met Pandi.

I met Albert and Pandi was location manager, I believe, on the film. He also has a script credit. I shot photos during the shooting of the film. Barry Perles was the cameraman.

After the shooting was completed, Albert said I could help Pandi in the editing room assemble the film. It was great working on this film, and the food was fantastic.

In the film, the sequence with “Wonderbread” being buttered on the table was shot in my basement in NDG/Montreal. They made me take off a big Tiger ring I was wearing. Those are my hands.

Albert kept coaching me – “make a bigger mess of the bread” – and when we got to the ketchup, I was instructed to pour tons on the bread.

Humor works with exaggeration…

The sequences were shot many times.

More info:

Our Last Meeting

25 Jan

by Pierre Jury

My last meeting with George Pandi was March 31, 2011. We were part of a group of journalists invited by the Myrtle Beach Convention and Tourism Authority for a wonderful meal at Signatures, the restaurant of the Cordon Bleu Cooking School, in Ottawa.

The Ottawa Travel Show was beginning the next day.

George sits proudly in front (far left). Others in the photo are Anne Marie Creskey, Managing Editor of The Hill Times (magenta dress, center), Gay Cook, former food writer with the Ottawa Sun and the Ottawa Citizen (bottom row, right), chef Éric Masson, from Myrtle Beach (left, back row), chef Yannick Anton, from Perspectives (white chef vest), Halina Player, Ottawa Travel Show organizer (far right, back row) and myself, Pierre Jury, Food Writer, Ottawa Newspaper Le Droit (right, back row).

We sat at opposing sides of the round table. Unfortunately, discussions between him and me was limited to small pleasantries since I knew it was pointless to try to have an intelligent conversation with him so far away, with his low voice.

Looking back at the photo, I see a man looking in very good shape, smiling, as always either just coming back from a trip or about to leave for one. He certainly did not look his age, but a good 10 years less. I was surprised to find out he was 75.

Memorial Tribute by Ronald Javich

22 Jan

The below is a Memorial Tribute to Pandi. To see more, go to the right column under CATEGORIES and click on Memorial Tributes.

Dear Friends, Colleagues and Relatives of our beloved companion, GEORGE!

In this day of mourning and deep sadness for all of us, we must concentrate on strength and good will, this will be a common bond for all of us, and just remember the good and joyful moments in the colourful and often adventurous long life of George Pandi.

As one mutual friend in far-away VANCOUVER stated today, the 3 main founders of our beloved “SUBMARINE” have all died, here in Canada, far far away from their beloved native Hungary: i.e., George Nemeth, Andy Letoniy and now George Pandi. May they all rest in peace!

For those of you who do not know or perhaps do not remember, the famous SUBMARINE was a very special and a very happy basement apartment inside the well-known McGill University Ghetto City. Within the scared walls of this enchanting little subterranean paradise co-existed several Hungarian refugees and guess who was the Master Cook and Grand Chef, the great George Pandi himself.

Feasts and endless parties and a general joyful mood of debauchery and pleasure reigned within the walls of this famous SUBMARINE. So many books could be written about the lives and adventures of the genius-crew who ran this ship and even more so their guests and many friends. Few were the girls and beautiful women of Montreal who did not experience the constant party ongoing at the Submarine.

One would think that the internationally-famous Guide Michelin must have missed listing our SUBMARINE amongst the culinary and wine attractions of Montreal City. Even if this took place 30 and 40 years ago and more, these colourful memories will remain in our bright minds until the last days of our lives!

And then again, the images of our dear dear friend and companion, George Pandi, who in the much-used terminology of James Bond was known as #3 while he dearly called me #1 (or Commander, depending on circumstances), relived with us cherished moments from the coloured worlds of the Cinema and Imaginative Fiction alike.

May the beloved and much admired George Pandi remain engraved in our souls and minds for always and for ever!!!

Finally, as Old Hebrew Tradition dictates in moments of mourning: “May you All Live a Long Life!”