Morgan Murphy (food critic)

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Morgan Murphy
Morgan Murphy by Jennifer Davick and Oxmoor House.jpg
Southern author and food critic, Morgan Murphy
Born (1972-02-14) February 14, 1972 (age 42)
Mountain Brook, Alabama
Culinary career
Cooking style Southern

Morgan Murphy (born 14 February 1972) is a Southern food critic, humorist, author, and journalist.


His most recent book, "Off the Eaten Path: Second Helpings" (Time Inc. 2013) is the sequel to his first[1] successful "Off the Eaten Path," [2] a collection of his 75 favorite restaurants[3] and 150 of their most famous recipes[4] from the American South.[5] Both books became bestsellers, climbing to no. 4 and 8, respectively, on Amazon.[6] He also currently hosts a series of Off the Eaten Path webisodes for Southern Living.[7] His first book, "I Love You--Now Hush," co-authored with author Melinda Rainey Thompson, released in 2010,[8] takes a humorous look at male vs. female relationships and the "Southern sense of place that drives him home."[9] The book was met with critical acclaim[10] from the Independent Book Publishers Association and was named the gold humor book of the year by the American Library Association[11] “America’s funniest food critic” has appeared on the TODAY Show,[12] Fox & Friends, Fox News,[13] CNN, Sirius/XM, Food Talk, Car Talk,[14] NPR,[15] and the Speed Channel.[16]

"Morgan Murphy could charm a dog off a meat truck."[17] Murphy’s trademark wit has been read by millions.[18] He began his career at Vanity Fair as a special projects assistant after introducing himself to Graydon Carter in an elevator at Condé Nast—a story repeated by Toby Young in How to Lose Friends & Alienate People. While at VF, Murphy researched for Dominic Dunne, Aimee Bell, and Willie Morris. In 1998, Murphy was hired by Jim Michaels, the editor of Forbes, where he reported on the automotive industry and small business. He was the first journalist to estimate the net worth of Harry Potter author, J.K. Rowling.[19] In 2000, Murphy became the travel editor, food critic, and national spokesman for Southern Living. Under his leadership the magazine garnered multiple awards, including gold awards from the American Society of Travel Writers. Murphy became an executive editor for the magazine in 2006.

In 2007 Murphy founded, the world’s first social-network for classic car enthusiasts[20] after raising seven figures in venture capital.[21]

Military career[edit]

As a Lieutenant Commander, Murphy has served on four continents since joining the United States Navy in 1999. In 2010, Murphy was called to Afghanistan, where he served as the Director of Media Outreach for the International Security Assistance Force[22] and briefed General David R. Petraeus,[23] 40 general officers, and two ambassadors on a daily basis. “The Frontline Foodie” was awarded the NATO Freedom Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and Defense Meritorious Service Medal for his service in Operation Enduring Freedom. He is currently assigned to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.[24]

LCDR Morgan Murphy briefs General David Petraeus in Afghanistan


Murphy holds a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Oxford, is a member of Exeter College and was elected by the university as the MBA of the Year.[25] He was voted by his peers to deliver the class commencement address at University Church. He is a 1994 cum laude graduate of Birmingham-Southern College, where he majored in English literature, edited the school paper, and was elected vice-president of the student body.

The Duchess[edit]

While searching for another rare Cadillac in 2005, Morgan Murphy, an avid car collector, discovered The Duchess in a barn in Fort Worth, Texas.[26] The famed limousine, created for Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson, was a one-of-one creation by General Motor’s legendary designer, Harley Earl under the direction of the company’s powerful chairman and chief executive officer, Alfred P. Sloan.[27] No single body panel on the Windsors’ car matched any other 1941 Cadillac. The hood, trunk, fenders, fender skirts, roof, and doors were all crafted by hand, and all interior appointments were hand-fitted.[28] The fenders forecast Hooper’s future coachwork on Rolls-Royce. Inside, four brushed stainless-steel jewelry cases, each of them lined in velvet, served to carry the Duchess’s prized jewelry, and two custom lighted mirrors were hidden in the cabinetry. For the Duke, there were no fewer than three cigar lighters and two ashtrays, as well as a humidor and a custom rack for his favored Sasieni pipes.[29]

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor kept their beloved Cadillac at the Waldorf Astoria New York, where it appeared in many newspaper clippings and newsreels of the day. The ex-king sold the car in 1952, whereupon it disappeared from public view and was thought to be destroyed.[30]

When Murphy purchased The Duchess, as the car was known, it was in complete disrepair and its provenance unproven. Murphy tracked the car’s Vehicle Identification Number and with the help of historians, other Cadillac enthusiasts, and fellow journalists, discovered the original build sheets, delivery schedule, coachwork by Fleetwood, and involvement of Alfred P. Sloan. He also tracked down photos and newsreel footage of the Duke and Duchess in the car. Afterwards, Morgan Murphy embarked on a 3-year restoration, which involved 20,000 man hours and more than 200 specialists.[31]

In November 2013, Murphy placed the car for sale with Sotheby’s at their first collector car sale in 16 years. The famed British auction house sold the Duke and Duchess’ personal effects in 1997 and the Duchess’ jewels in 1987.[32]

Personal life[edit]

Murphy was born in Mountain Brook, Alabama.


  1. ^ "10 Great Places to Eat Like a Local". USA Today. 4 Aug 2011. 
  2. ^ "Southern food critic goes 'Off the Eaten Path". The Atlanta Journal Constitution. 23 May 2011. 
  3. ^ "South a road-tripper's feast". The Chicago Tribune. 10 Jan 2012. 
  4. ^ "Off the Trail with Morgan Murphy". ABC36 Lexington, KY. 17 Sep 2012. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Morgan Murphy author page". 
  7. ^ |Southern Living's Diners and Dives Series with Morgan Murphy
  8. ^ "I Love You Now Hush". Alabama Public Radio. 26 April 2010. 
  9. ^ "Larger Than Life". B-Metro. November 2010. 
  10. ^ Chattanooga Public Radio. 10 February 2010 |url= missing title (help). 
  11. ^ “Book of the Year Awards 2010”, ForeWord.
  12. ^ "Cooking with Morgan Murphy". NBC Today Show. 20 May 2011. 
  13. ^ "LCDR Morgan Murphy Returns from Afghanistan". Fox News. 18 May 2011. 
  14. ^ "Car Talk Goes Off the Eaten Path". National Public Radio. July 2011. 
  15. ^ "Food News with Morgan Murphy". National Public Radio. 13 June 2011. 
  16. ^ "Test Drive the Acura TL with Morgan Murphy". Speed Channel. Sep 2010. 
  17. ^ "Live with Morgan Murphy". Sunny Side Up Radio. 17 Sep 2012. 
  18. ^ "Mountain Brook food writer Morgan Murphy ventures 'Off the Eaten Path' in new cookbook". The Birmingham News. 15 June 2011. 
  19. ^ "Magic Coins by Morgan Murphy". Forbes. 20 March 2000. 
  20. ^ "Entrepreneur profile: Morgan Murphy of Motorpool LLC". The Birmingham News. 24 Sep 2010. 
  21. ^ "Facebook for Cars? Birmingham Entrepreneur Starts Website". The Birmingham Business Journal. 23 March 2009. 
  22. ^ "Memorial Day Message from Morgan Murphy: Savoring the Ordinary for all Who Gave the Ultimate Sacrifice". Fox News. May 28, 2012. 
  23. ^ "Lt. Cmdr. Morgan Murphy: The Frontline Foodie". Fox News. 17 May 2011. 
  24. ^ "Veteran's Day Interview on DEFCON 3 with KT McFarland". Fox News. November 2012. 
  25. ^ "Interview with Morgan Murphy of Motorpool". The University of Oxford. May 2008. 
  26. ^ "Duke and Duchess of Windsor’s Cadillac heads to NYC auction; Ala. collector found it in Texas". The Washington Post. 24 Oct 2013. 
  27. ^ "Duke of Windsor's 1941 Cadillac limousine to be sold at auction". Reuters. 24 Oct 2013. 
  28. ^ "Cadillac called The Duchess, made for Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson, set to fetch £500,000 after 60 years out of the public eye". The Daily Mail. 29 Oct 2013. 
  29. ^ "Duke of Windsor's 1941 Cadillac limousine to be auctioned in New York City". Robb Report. 25 Oct 2013. 
  30. ^ "1941 Cadillac with Royal Roots Headed to Auction". Robb Report. 29 Oct 2013. 
  31. ^ "Duchess 1941 Cadillac restored by Morgan Murphy, food critic". Old Cars Weekly. 4 Nov 2013. 
  32. ^ "Will the Duke of Windsor’s Cadillac Start a Bidding War?". The Wall Street Journal. 25 Oct 2013. 

External links[edit]