Mark Bittman

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Mark Bittman (born February 17, 1950) is an American food journalist, author, and columnist for The New York Times.


Bittman is a journalist, food writer, and author of 14 books, including the bestselling How to Cook Everything and Vegan Before 6 P.M. (VB6).[1] His most recent cookbook is How to Cook Everything Fast. He has been the recipient of International Association of Culinary Professionals, Julia Child, and James Beard awards for his writing.[2]

Bittman is an Opinions columnist for The New York Times, a food columnist for the paper's Dining section, and the lead food writer for The New York Times Magazine. His column, "The Minimalist," ran in The New York Times for more than 13 years; the final column was published on January 26, 2011.[3] He also hosted a weekly "Minimalist" cooking video on the New York Times website.[4]

Bittman is a regular guest on NBC's The Today Show and the NPR shows All Things Considered[5] and Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me. He appeared as a guest judge on the Food Network competition series Chopped[6] and was featured alongside Gwyneth Paltrow and Mario Batali in a PBS series called Spain... on the Road Again in 2008.


Bittman has written and co-written 16 books and cookbooks. His most recent book, How to Cook Everything Fast, was released October 7, 2014.[7] He is also the author of Vegan Before 6 P.M. and The VB6 Cookbook, where he provides all the necessary tools for making the switch to a flexitarian diet.[1]

In 2005 he published the books The Best Recipes in the World and Bittman Takes on America's Chefs, and hosted the Public Television series Bittman Takes on America's Chefs, which won the James Beard Award for best cooking series.[5] In 2007 he published How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. In 2009 he published the book Food Matters, which covers food-related topics such as environmental challenges, lifestyle diseases, overproduction and over consumption of meat and simple carbohydrates. He also began the TV series Kitchen Express. Bittman has written the books The Minimalist Cooks at Home, The Minimalist Cooks Dinner and The Minimalist Entertains.[5] In 2010 Bittman created The Food Matters Cookbook, an expansion of the principles and recipes in his prior book.


In 2015, Bittman announced he will be leaving the New York Times to join The Purple Carrot as its chief innovation officer.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Bittman is a graduate of Stuyvesant High School (1967) and of Clark University.[9] He lives in New York City with his wife.[9] He has two adult daughters from a prior marriage. Bittman runs marathons and is a licensed pilot.[5]


Bittman has been publicly criticized twice by the physician and nutritionist David Katz for making erroneous health claims in the New York Times. In “Butter is Back,” an article published March 25, 2014, Bittman wrote that a meta-analysis in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine found “there’s just no evidence to support the notion that saturated fat increases the risk of heart disease.”[10] Two days later in the Huffington Post, Katz wrote that Bittman’s conclusion was “in a word, wrong.”[11] He added that Bittman was “absolutely not qualified” to make such pronouncements and asked him to restrain from “inclinations to impersonate an expert.” He also expressed doubt that Bittman had even read the meta-analysis. According to Katz, Bittman instead seemed to have formed his opinion based on blog postings about the study.

In “It’s the Sugar, Folks,” published Feb. 27, 2013, Bittman wrote: “Sugar is indeed toxic. It may not be the only problem with the Standard American Diet, but it’s fast becoming clear that it’s the major one.”[12] As evidence, he cited a study in the journal PLoS ONE. On March 2, Katz wrote that Bittman had misinterpreted the study.[13] Four days later, the New York Times added a correction to Bittman’s article.


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