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Jonathan Gold is a food critic who currently writes for the Los Angeles Times and has previously written for LA Weekly and Gourmet. In 2007 he became the first food critic to win the Pulitzer Prize. He is also a regular on KCRW's Good Food radio program.
Gold often chooses small, ethnic restaurants for his reviews, although he covers all types of cuisine. His articles have been collected in the book, Counter Intelligence: Where to Eat in the Real Los Angeles.
Gold started out at the LA Weekly in 1982 as a proofreader while he was studying art and music at UCLA, and by the mid-1980s became one of the paper’s most popular writers. He was music editor for the Weekly in the 1980s, and held a number of other positions with the paper. With the encouragement of Weekly founder Jay Levin, he started his Counter Intelligence column in 1986 as a way of exploring Los Angeles’ ethnic neighborhoods, places that often go underreported in other papers. He took the column to the Los Angeles Times from 1990 to 1996, while also writing reviews of high-end places for California and Los Angeles magazines, as well as music stories for Blender, Spin, Rolling Stone, and Details. In 1999, he left Los Angeles to become Gourmet'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 Weekly while continuing to write for Gourmet. In 2012, he returned to the L.A. Times.
Gold was born in Los Angeles; his father was a Jewish probation officer, his mother was a Christian Scientist teacher who converted to Judaism. While a freshman at UCLA, he worked briefly at a Kosher restaurant owned by Steven Spielberg's mother, Leah Adler. He is married to Laurie Ochoa, former editor-in-chief of the LA Weekly; they have two children.
Jonathan Gold's younger brother Mark Gold was the long-time president of the Santa Monica-based non-profit organization Heal the Bay and is now the associate director of UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability.
- "Jonathan Gold rejoins The Times". Los Angeles Times. 2012-03-05. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
- Joan Nathan, "L.A.’s Jewish Top Foodie: Pulitzer-winning food critic Jonathan Gold on his family, his favorite delis, and what makes food Jewish", Tablet Magazine, June 27, 2012.
- Dana Goodyear, "The Scavenger: Pig’s ear, octopus, and fish-kidney curry with L.A.’s most adventurous eater." The New Yorker, November 9, 2009 (subscription required).