Ed Levine (born January 27, 1952) is a New York-based food writer, creator of Serious Eats and a frequent New York Times contributor. His stories on iconic American foods such as hot dogs, hamburgers, ice cream and cheesecake have appeared in many U.S. periodicals, including GQ, BusinessWeek and the New York Times.
Levine grew up in Cedarhurst, New York, and graduated from Fairfax High School in Los Angeles in 1969. He attended Grinnell College in Iowa with a BA in Music, and in 1985, earned his MBA from Columbia Business School.
Levine's first book New York Eats was a guide to New York City's best non-restaurant food. Published in 1992, Levine’s research stretched back to the 1970s. A follow-up, New York Eats (More), was published in 1997. In 2005, he commemorated pizza's centennial in America by consuming 1,000 slices of pizza for Pizza: A Slice of Heaven, which also includes cartoons, poems, and essays about pizza by writers and chefs, including Nora Ephron, Garry Trudeau, Calvin Trillin, Ruth Reichl, Mario Batali, and Roy Blount Jr. His most recent book, The Young Man and the Sea was published in May 2007, a collection of more than 100 seafood recipes and fisherman stories from Chef David Pasternack of New York's Esca. Levine has also written many food pieces for the New York Times.
In December 2006, he founded the food website Serious Eats, covering cultural trends within the food community, chef gossip, restaurant reviews and message dialogue among readers, involving blogs, video, social network, and community-created food content. Regular columnists on the site include Batali and cookbook author Dorie Greenspan. He is known by his colleagues and staff as the Serious Eats Overlord.
Serious Eats has been praised by PBS’s MediaShift as “the next generation of food media.” In 1997, Gourmet editor Ruth Reichl called Levine “the curator of New York's far-flung food museum” and “a missionary of the delicious…on a crusade to see that the people who make food get the recognition they deserve.”
Television and radio
As a television personality, Levine is currently the co-host and consulting producer for “Reservations Required” on the Ultra HD Channel. He also created, co-produced and co-hosted (along with Vogue magazine food critic Jeffrey Steingarten) “New York Eats” for the Metro Channel. As a former radio producer, Levine created and hosted “Dish” for WNYC, New York’s NPR affiliate, which was twice nominated for James Beard Awards for Electronic Media.
- "Was Life Better When Bagels Were Smaller?" December 31, 2003
- "Lo, a New Age of Heroes" December 1, 2004
- "It's All in How the Dog Is Served" May 25, 2005
- "Soul for the Chicken Soup" February 22, 2006
- New York Eats (More), 1997, St. Martin's Griffin
- Pizza: A Slice of Heaven, 2005, Universe Publishing
- The Young Man and the Sea, 2007, Artisan Publishing
- "Serious Eats: Food Media 2.0", Jennifer Woodard Maderazo, July 27, 2007
- "Critic's Notebook; On an Odyssey With the Homer Of Rugelach", Ruth Reichl, New York Times, November 12, 1997