Drew Warner of East Hampton died on January 23 at his home. A television and book producer, designer, and food photographer, he was 63.
Born on September 15, 1945, to Andrew Warner and the former Edna Carter, he grew up in Binghamton, New York. He attended the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, majoring in automotive and advertising design.
Mr. Warner began his design career working in an advertising studio in Toronto, Canada, where he met his future wife, Joie Warner. The two were married on August 31, 1968, and they celebrated their 40th anniversary last year. Mrs. Warner survives him.
He left the advertising studio to go out on his own, doing diverse design projects, which included architectural and furniture design and designing rail cars for mass transit systems in New York, Toronto and Mexico. His automotive design projects included concept cars for Ford, Chrysler, and an all-new design for a new generation of the classic British roadster, the Austin Healey.
For many years, he was also an automotive illustrator on advertising campaigns for major car companies such as Chrysler, Toyota, Ford and General Motors. Also an accomplished artist, he had one-man shows of his oil paintings and works on paper of classic cars.
In the mid 1980s, he began working with his wife, a cookbook author, and the two of them created, produced, designed and provided food photography for their books, which were published by William Morrow and Company, Chronicle Books, Penguin Books, Random House, Prentice-Hall and Little, Brown and Company. They also produced special edition corporate cookbooks for companies such as Braun and Procter and Gamble.
After vacationing in the Hamptons in the early 1990s, Mr. Warner and his wife fell in love with the area and they immediately began looking for a house. It took them four years of traveling back and forth until they finally found a simple ranch on Dayton Lane in East Hampton that he felt was perfectly suited for a major renovation. Mr. Warner drafted the designs and did much of the work of creating their dream home himself.
Oftentimes, when he was working outside, passersby would stop and say how much they loved the house, and he was approached by many people wanting to take pictures of architectural details. It gave him great pleasure to know people responded positively to his work. In 1994, the couple moved into the two-story shingled cottage with climbing roses and a white picket fence.
“He was a brilliant, multi-talented man, always creating and producing,” his wife said this week. He also loved to garden and work on projects around the house, and especially enjoyed being chief taste-tester for her recipe creations. At the time of his death, Mr. Warner was producing his wife’s latest cookbook and cooking show.
No services were held. Some of his ashes will be scattered at Main Beach because he loved living near the ocean, and some will be buried in his rose garden.