Food, Inspiration

Jonathan Gold’s Legacy

Another sad loss for the world of food and culture with the passing of legendary L.A. Times food critic Jonathan Gold yesterday. Thank you for showcasing Los Angeles to the world, Mr Gold.

“If you live in Los Angeles you are used to having your city explained to you by people who come in for a couple of weeks, stay in a hotel in beverly hills and take in what they can get to within ten minutes in their rent-a-car. The thing that people find hard to understand is the magnitude of what’s here. The huge number of multiple cultures that live in the city that come together in this beautiful and haphazard fashion. And the fault lines between them are sometimes where you can find the most beautiful things.” ~ Jonathan Gold 1960-2018

Mr. Jonathan Gold captured the many flavors and cultures of Los Angeles, and was one of the City’s biggest champions – He also became the first restaurant critic to win a Pulitzer for criticism in 2007. As an L.A. native, he stayed curious about the city in his far-ranging, relentless explorations of it to help readers understand its many layers. From the LA Times obit: Food criticism before him — and even during his time — focused on the austere, the high-end, the Michelin stars. Gold redefined the genre, drawn more to hole-in-the-wall joints, street food, mom-and-pop shops and ethnic restaurants than he was to haute cuisine. Although he appreciated and wrote beautifully about fine dining, he revered the taco truck more than the tasting menu….Gold pioneered a different approach to food criticism. His reviews — which appeared first in L.A. Weekly and later in The Times and Gourmet — were predominantly positive and focused on off-the-beaten-path ethnic restaurants, which he preferred to call traditional restaurants (he particularly disliked the phrase “exotic food”). He dismissed the notion of starred reviews and cheered the stuffy Michelin Guide’s departure from Los Angeles in 2010. Gold’s Counter Intelligence column, which he began writing in 1986, was an indispensable dining guide for Angelenos, giving them a way of discovering their own city….Affectionately known as J. Gold, he explored L.A.’s endless culinary offerings in his beat-up green Dodge Ram 1500, racking up 20,000 miles a year as he traversed the sprawling city in search of his next great meal.

If you can, watch his 2016 documentary film “City of Gold”

Author: Carrie Mitchell

Carrie A. Mitchell is the founder of L’Aventure Travel, the host of the Suitcase Sojourn Podcast, and author of the children’s travel book “To Be We”. Carrie is a global travel and hospitality expert who works with publications, brands and entertainment outlets on a number of travel related projects, from marketing consulting to editorial coverage to hosting & producing content for the web, TV and podcasts. She is always seeking to learn from people and places around the world, and share through her cultural exploration (40+ countries and counting)