Jonathan Gold and the Pulitzer Prize

24 Aug

You probably have heard of the Pulitzer Prize in terms of the prizes for journalism, photography, drama, music and literature–each year it is a big deal when they are announced. A writer’s reputation can be “made” through this award. There is a category called criticism that was won by an LA writer, Jonathan Gold, in 2007. This was the first time anyone won for food writing; also, the LA Weekly is a free paper, and not an old-school powerhouse, like the New York Times or even the Village Voice. Gold has a column every week. His big claims to fame are: 1) eating in EVERY single restaurant on Pico Boulevard. Yes, all of them; 2) taking the art of food reviewing out of the “white tablecloth” restaurants to more popular places, especially in the suburbs and East Side, places like Highland Park and Alhambra. He is partly responsible for hyping the food truck as a destination, as opposed to a convenience. You can read his “99 essential restaurants in LA” here. He has a pretty distinctive style. To me, he seems to acquire a bit of a “romantic explorer” tone when he eats in languages he doesn’t speak, and uses lots of hyperbole, struggle, heroism…–but see what you think…

With respect to our topic of Japanese food, his choices of Japanese restaurant are skewed a bit more towards the high end than some other kinds of food. I think he came of age during the 80s, which may explain why the lingering aura of “luxury food” still characterizes J-food for him.

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