Jonathan Gold

29th annual Key West Literary Seminar

—The Hungry Muse: An Exploration of Food in Literature—

January 6 - 16, 2011

Jonathan Gold is the only food critic ever to have won the Pulitzer Prize. He has been called “a cultural omnivore who can write captivatingly about almost anything,” but is best known for his work as a restaurant critic and food columnist for L.A. Weekly, which often focuses on small ethnic restaurants. Many of these pieces have been collected in his book, Counter Intelligence: Where to Eat in the Real Los Angeles. He has also written forGourmet and the Los Angeles Times, and is a regular on KCRW’s Good Food radio program.

Gold started at the L.A. Weekly in 1982 as a proofreader while he was studying art and music at UCLA, and by the mid-1980s had become one of the paper’s most popular writers. As its music editor in the 1980s, he wrote groundbreaking pieces about new-music composers including Pierre Boulez, metal bands including Metallica, and rap pioneers including N.W.A. just as the Los Angeles rap scene was going national. He started the “Counter Intelligence” column in 1986 as a way of exploring Los Angeles’s often underreported ethnic neighborhoods. He took the column to the L.A. Times from 1990 to 1996, during which time he also wrote “proper” restaurant reviews of high-end restaurants in California and Los Angeles magazines, along with music stories for Blender, Spin, Rolling Stone and Details. In 1999, he became Gourmet magazine’s New York restaurant critic and was the first food writer to be honored as a National Magazine Award finalist in criticism by the American Society of Magazine Editors. In 2001, he moved back to Los Angeles, where he revived “Counter Intelligence” for the L.A. Weekly while continuing to write forGourmet until their demise in 2009.

Online Resources:

“Jonathan Gold’s Last Meal”: Village Voice Q & A
Gold archive in LA Weekly
LA Weekly story about Gold winning the Pulitzer
Gold archive in Gourmet magazine
Gold’s 99 Essential L.A. Restaurants
Jonathan Gold on Twitter
“The Hungry Metropolis”

Selected Bibliography:

Counter Intelligence: Where to Eat in the Real Los Angeles (L.A. Weekly Books 2000)

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