"Now they fly these crab in live from Alaska every weekend. You know, in about 10 or 15 minutes, this little fellow's going to be on my plate for dinner. Wow!" said Elmer Dills during one of his memorable reports.
"Wow" is what Elmer's ABC7 family thought of him. For almost three decades, Elmer loved showing us the best restaurants around.
"If you've ever wanted to try the exotic cuisine of Albania, you have two choices: You can hop a plane for Albania -- not a very good idea these days -- or you can go to Beverly Hills, where you'll find the only restaurant in the United States serving Albanian cuisine," said Elmer on another report.
For nearly 30 years, Elmer Dills showed us the best restaurants California had to offer. He developed his vast knowledge of food and wine during his first career as an officer with the Central Intelligence Agency traveling to Europe and the Middle East for more than 20 years, assigned to entertain heads of state and other VIPs.
Leaving the diplomatic service after more than 20 years, Elmer Dills joined KABC Talk Radio where he has hosted a talk show dealing with wining, dining and travel. Then as a regular on KABC-TV's "Eyewitness News," Elmer reported on restaurants with particular emphasis on small, inexpensive, unusual restaurants where "value" is the key word. Many restaurants built their reputations on Elmer's reviews and Elmer put his own special touch on each report.
Elmer Dills said he would do anything for ABC7, and he meant it.
Longtime Eyewitness News viewers will remember Elmer's frequent travels with the late Fred Anderson. Elmer later continued his travels with other partners, including ABC7's Ric Romero.
Ric and Elmer traveled all around Southern California. And when it came to fine dining, Ric said he had the privilege of learning from the master.
Elmer loved his work and he did it with the enthusiasm of a child, even well into his 70s.
Elmer retired from ABC7 about two years ago.
"Working with Elmer on all of those vacation getaways was some of the most fun I've had working in this business," said Ric Romero. "I think I can say for all of us here at ABC7, we're going to miss a great guy and a very good friend. And, our condolences go out to his wife, Lynn, and all of his family."
Elmer is survived by his wife Lynne, four grown children, and four grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements for Elmer Dills are set for Friday October 3, 2008. Services will be held at All Saints Church at 1 p.m. It is located at 132 North Euclid Avenue in Pasadena.