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R.I.P. Chef Daniel Richard of Old Mill Snuff (1957-2016)

Hello Brothers and Sisters:

It is my sad duty to inform everyone in the snuff community that Daniel Richard, respected chef, culinary expert, brilliant tobacco alchemist, and internationally recognized and lauded creator of Old Mill Artisan Snuff, passed away last Sunday night following a heart attack at his home near Nashville, TN, USA.  

Not only was Daniel a lifelong friend of fifty years to me personally, he was obviously an important voice and creator in the world of nasal snuff. He was also the holder of the most encyclopedic knowledge of all things tobacco whom I've ever met.  I know that he has MANY friends here on, and I was asked by his family to pass this news along to everyone.

This is obviously a major loss to the snuff world, as well as to, frankly, the human family generally.  We have lost a true creative mastermind, a good man, and a fine husband, father, brother, and friend.  

Daniel's family will hold a small private memorial followed by cremation.  I will attempt to field questions about the status of Old Mill, the disposition of pending orders, pending decisions about his remaining snuff inventory, and so on.  Understandably, the family is not yet ready to delve into the snuff part of things at this moment, but I will post information about Old Mill as it becomes available to me.  I'll be monitoring this site daily and providing all relevant information as it emerges.  I'll do my best to respond to inquiries from any members.  This may take some time to sort out, but I know that Daniel would be able to rest easy knowing that all of you will be patient and understanding about the situation as we all move forward.

For now, I'm sure the chef's family would simply appreciate your positive thoughts and good vibes as they deal with this devastating loss.

With Best Regards

Dr. Bob Van Sickel (Louisville, KY, USA) (BenZion to members)


  • cpmcdillcpmcdill Member
    edited September 2016 PM
    Shocking and sad news. Although I never met him personally, I've exchanged a lot of e-mails with him, picked his brain for snuff-making wisdom, as well as other topics such as food, cocktails, and the culinary profession. I was always holding out hope I might someday get an opportunity to meet him. I've got a nice collection of his snuffs, which I'll continue to enjoy, and tonight I'll select a fine bourbon to raise a toast to his life well lived. People with his creativity and vitality, knowing how short our transit on this planet can be, hope to leave a legacy of artistic gifts, lives improved, even a little, by their presence. And I think he accomplished that and more.

  • although I dont sign in as much anymore. I still check this page out almost daily.  this is such sad news. prayers for the family to get them through such troubling times. ive exchanged emails with him as well and can tell you the world lost a great man. I will join you in that toast and raise my glass to him too.
  • Oh man, that sucks. My thoughts go out to his family. Rest in peace.
  • This is really devastating. I don't have many words to say. I'm really sorry for his Family and send a lot of love to them.
  • I am so sorry to hear this. This is devastating news. My most sincere condolences to his family. I will miss him.
  • I too only knew Daniel through emails but I could tell he was a fine man and a creative genius. I am saddened by his sudden passing and my prayers go out to his family and loved ones. 
  • Sad news indeed. I will miss his great sense of humour, intellegence and contributions here. A class act lost far too young. If we can help the family sort out his snuff business or anything else please don't hesitate to ask. I will happily substitute any outstanding orders for Toque free of charge.
  • Very sad news.

    I always enjoyed his contributions here and this news feels like losing a family member.

    My deepest sympathies to his family and my prayers for him.
  • RogueRogue Member, Administrator
    Rest in peace, old bear. May you find the most delicate snuffs where youre t now.

  • Daniel was a class act and a genius when it came to snuff.
    He treated me very well these past few years and I always enjoy my communications with him.

    I pray for his family and loved ones.
  • A horrendous loss to the snuff community

    May he RIP.
  • RIP Chef

    Gone but never forgotten.
  • Very unexpected and sad news. Only ever shared a few PM's with Daniel but always enjoyed reading his witty and informative posts. He came across as a true gentleman in every respect. A great loss to the community indeed. RIP Sir.
  • I am sorry to hear this. Unfortunately, I was never able to order any of his snuff. However, reading this site, it is easy to see what a stellar reputation he has.
  • Wow, this is heavy. As you said, Daniel is a loss for all mankind.  Prayers and good vibes heading to his family.

    @BenZion Thanks and respect to you for helping his family in the aftermath of such a devastating loss.  You're a good friend.  I'm curious if Chef Daniel kept a recipe book in some fashion.  I would hate for future snuffers to lose the possibility to experience Old Mill snuffs.
  • I'm at a complete loss for words.  I never met him personally, but we spoke through email and over the phone every few weeks.  This is devastating.

  • R.I.P Chef, such a great man. Very sad loss.
  • Rest in peace Chef. Condolences to his family. We will all miss you, have we met or not. :(
  • What a shame, he always was top notch the few times I spoke with him, and his knowledge will be missed. RIP Chef.
  • RIP Chef. Words fail me. I raise a glass of 15yr Ben Nevis
  • SeanOCDPxSeanOCDPx Member
    edited September 2016 PM
    I can't believe it.  So sad.  We'll miss you Chef Daniel.  RIP.  Thanks for keeping us informed @BenZion.  I only knew Daniel via emails, but that's all that was needed to know what kind of guy he is.  He once sent me a tin of his beloved discontinued Redcrest, and offered to do so for free, just because he was a nice guy.  
  • Today is a sad day for me, my condolence for his family a his friends
  • WTF
  • I know we should celebrate his life , and I do, but I'm still in shock over his sudden passing. He was our friend. I'm convinced that the comraderie was more important than the snuff to him. At least that's how I feel about him.
  • Hi Again, Snuff Friends and Neighbors:

    @SHbickel: You are not the only one wondering about Daniel's snuff recipes.  I don't expect to be able to seriously crawl into his computer or "snuff lab" for a week or more, but you can bet that is one computer folder I will be looking for.  On the other hand, he used to say," Whether it's food or snuff, I don't know what the hell I'm doing.  I just follow the muse until it tastes good."  Another favorite quip of his was, "Tobacco or food. Get your hands on the best ingredients possible and try not to f*#@+k them up."  So I don't really expect to find a meticulous written record, but I know that any archival materials will be of considerable interest the snuff community.   I will, of course, share them in accordance with his family's wishes.

    SeanOCDPx: Regarding Daniel's snuff generosity, I'm sure I'm not the only one who heard him say that, if he wanted money, he wouldn't have founded Old Mill.  He was simply an incurable tinkerer, and absolutely loved the whole weird, tight-knit, underground, obsessive pleasure of snuff and the snuff world (and especially the people who inhabit it).  He just really dug being a sort of evangelist for our chosen pleasure substance.  Many are aware that the chef was almost as passionate about food, wine, cigars, and spirits, and I'll bet some of you who inhabit those worlds have been discussing him there as well.

    I will be passing along all of the wonderful thoughts and condolences here as they come in.  I know that the family will be deeply touched and very grateful.

    More information as it becomes available.  As they used to say in the newspaper trade, "Watch this space!"

    BenZion in Louisville

  • Such a big loss to this world and the snuff community. He was truely a special man. I only began snuffing a few months ago, but I made at least 10 orders from him and was such a class act. Be will sorely be missed. RIP @chefdan
  • THIS IS A LOSS TO MANKIND. My condolences to those most close to him,( familly and world).! Will comment again when I have accepted this loss., :(( :-<
  • Sad news of course, Daniel had at one point lived in San Francisco thus we had another point of commonality to email about 
  • Very sad news... i will honour him tonight by using his fantastic snuffs.
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