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Marian Burros

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Marian Burros
Marian Fox

Alma materWellesley College
Occupationfood columnist
Years active1974 – 2008

Marian Burros (born in Waterbury, Connecticut) is a cookbook author, and was food columnist for The New York Times, a position she held from 1981 to 2014.[1][2] Before joining the Times, Burros was The Washington Post's food editor and a consumer reporter for an NBC affiliate, a position for which she won an Emmy Award.[3]

Burros also worked for NBC Radio Network News, United Features, The Washington Daily News and The Washington Star.[3]

Early life[edit]

Burros graduated with a degree in English literature from Wellesley College in 1954.[4]


She started her career as a teacher of cookery.[citation needed] With a friend, Lois Levine, Burros assembled a self-published cookbook, "Elegant but Easy," which was picked up by Macmillan Publishing in 1960. It eventually sold 500,000 copies.[5]

From 1969 until 1974, she had a syndicated column through United Features, titled "Chef Marian's Dish of the Day," after which she became food editor for The Washington Post (1974 to 1981).[4] She started with The New York Times in 1981.

Burros is credited for being among the first food writers in the 1970's to apply investigative journalistic standards to the field.[6] She was the first to break the story of ITT Continental Baking Company's reduced-calorie, high-fiber Fresh Horizons Bread, which contained powdered cellulose, derived from wood pulp.[7] [8] In 1974, she was a founding member and first vice-president of the Association of Food Journalists, an organization formed to set standards of journalistic objectivity for food writers.[6]


Burros has won numerous awards, including an Emmy in 1973 for her consumer reporting on WRC-TV; the American Association of University Women Mass Media Award for consumer reporting and nutrition education; a 1988 citation from the National Press Club for her coverage of food safety issues in The Times; and a Penney-Missouri Award.[4] Her cookbooks and feature writing have won five James Beard Foundation awards.[9]

She has received a National Press Club citation (for food safety coverage), the American Association of University Women Mass Media Award and is a three-time winner of the Vesta Award.[3][4]

After retiring, Burros received recognition for her career of reporting on the politics of food, health, nutrition, agriculture, and food safety. These included, the Wellesley College Alumnae Achievement award in 2016 and the Association of Food Journalists Award in 2017.

Personal life[edit]

She has two children and lives in Bethesda, Maryland.[3]


  • Elegant But Easy (Collier Books, 1962) with Lois Levine[10]
  • Second Helpings (Collier Books, 1964) with Lois Levine[11]
  • Freeze With Ease (MacMillan, 1967) with Lois Levine
  • Come for Cocktails, Stay for Supper (MacMillan, 1970)
  • Summertime Cookbook (MacMillan, 1972) Tastemaker Award winner
  • Pure and Simple (William Morrow, 1978) Tastemaker Award winner
  • Keep It Simple (William Morrow, 1981)
  • You've Got It Made (William Morrow, 1984)
  • The Best of De Gustibus (Simon & Schuster, 1988)
  • 20-Minute Menus (Simon & Schuster, 1989)
  • Eating Well is the Best Revenge (Simon & Schuster, 1995)
  • Cooking for Comfort (Simon & Schuster, 209 pp, 2003)[12]
  • The New Elegant But Easy Cookbook (Simon and Schuster, 2003)


  1. ^ Marian Burros - The New York Times
  2. ^ Gresser, Joseph (October 26, 2016). "Burros was a Pioneer in "Political" Food Writing". The Chronicle (Vermont). The Chronicle. Retrieved 22 September 2023.
  3. ^ a b c d WebMD, "Marian Burros Biography". Accessed 26 November 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d Flint, Jennifer McFarland (Summer 2016). "The Politics of the Plate". Wellesley College. Wellesley Magazine. Retrieved 22 September 2023.
  5. ^ Voss, Kimberly Wilmot (2014). The food section: newspaper women and the culinary community. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield. p. 166. ISBN 978-1-4422-2720-0.
  6. ^ a b Voss, Kimberly; Speere, Lance (September 2013). "Food Fight: Accusations of Press Agentry". Gastronomica. 13 (2). University of California Press: 41–50. doi:10.1525/gfc.2013.13.2.41. JSTOR 10.1525/gfc.2013.13.2.41. Retrieved 25 September 2023.
  7. ^ O' Neill, Lois Decker (1979). The Women's book of world records and achievements. New York: Anchor Press/Doubleday. pp. 467–468. ISBN 0-385-12733-2.
  8. ^ Burros, Marian (13 July 1983). "FOOD NOTES". The New York Times. p. 4. Retrieved 28 April 2011.
  9. ^ "James Beard Foundation Award Winners". jamesbeard.org. James Beard Foundation. Retrieved 22 September 2023.
  10. ^ Drummond, Mary F. (18 Mar 1962). "From Mimeographed Form To Published Cookbook". The Bridgeport Post. Bridgeport, Connecticut. p. 26 – via newspapers.com.
  11. ^ "Recipes Found in Cookbook". Independent. Long Beach, California. 20 Mar 1964. p. 39 – via newspapers.com.
  12. ^ Chou, Hsiao-Ching (April 29, 2003). "A moment with ... Marian Burros, food writer/author". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. seattlepi.com. Retrieved 28 April 2011.


External links[edit]