We learned the news yesterday when the NY Times called asking for permission to use our photo of Jim Ades, the famous carrot peeler of Union Square (and occasionally other parts of the city.)
He was known for his bravado and his enthusiasm for the peelers he sold. He never was officially part of the Greenmarket, rather choosing to park himself on the fringes of the market, capitalizing on the traffic, but never obtaining a vendor's license.
Some called him a hack, but the truth is, his peeler really is the best. I picked one up once to replace what came in my culinary school kit. It made for a good story in the classroom.
Mr. Ades charged $5 a pop, or 5 for $20. You can still buy the Star Vegetable Peeler ($6.95 plus shipping), but the experience just won't be the same.
Adieu, Mr. Ades.
• Veggie Peeler Pitchman Still At It
• Joseph Ades and his Swiss Peelers
• A Video of Joseph Ades at Work
• His Stage, the Street; His Rapier, a Peeler (NY Times, February 3, 2009)
(Photos: Chris Phillips and Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan for The Kitchn)