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 Mountain Brook, Alabama
Culinary career
Cooking style American Southern

Morgan Murphy is an American Southern food critic, humorist, author, journalist, restorer of classic cars, Internet entrepreneur, and Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy Reserve.

Journalism career[edit]

Murphy began his career at Vanity Fair, meeting Graydon Carter in an elevator at Condé Nast – according to the memoir How to Lose Friends & Alienate People by Toby Young.[1] As a reporter for Forbes under Jim Michaels, Murphy was the first journalist to estimate the net worth of Harry Potter author, J.K. Rowling, at the time believed to be $42 million.[2] In 2000, Murphy joined Southern Living and served as the magazine's food critic, travel editor, and national spokesman.[3]

He has appeared on the Travel Channel's American Grilled,[4] the Today Show,[5] Fox & Friends, Fox News,[6] CNN, Sirius XM, Food Talk, Car Talk,[7] NPR,[8] the Speed Channel,[9] and QVC.[10]

Military career[edit]

Murphy joined the United States Naval Reserve in 1999, and has since served on four continents.[11] In 2010, Murphy was called to Afghanistan, where he served in Operation Enduring Freedom as the Director of Media Outreach for the International Security Assistance Force[12] and briefed General David R. Petraeus,[13] 40 general officers, and two ambassadors on a daily basis. As of December 2010, he held the rank of Lieutenant Commander and had also served in Morocco and South Korea.[11] He has been awarded the NATO Freedom Medal,[citation needed] Afghanistan Campaign Medal,[citation needed] Defense Meritorious Service Medal[citation needed] Navy Achievement Medal,[11] National Defense Service Medal,[11] Global War on Terrorism Medal,[11] Overseas Service Ribbon,[11] and Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.[11] In November 2012, he was assigned to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.[14]

Lt. Cmdr. Morgan Murphy briefs General David Petraeus in Afghanistan

Books published as author[edit]

  • Murphy's first book, I Love You – Now Hush (ISBN 978-0895873781), co-authored with author Melinda Rainey Thompson and released in 2010,[15] was named the gold humor book of the year by the American Library Association.[16]
  • Murphy's cookbook Off the Eaten Path: Favorite Southern Dives and 150 Recipes that Made Them Famous[17] (ISBN 978-0848734459) is a collection of his favorite restaurants[18] and their most famous recipes[19] from the American South.[20]
  • A sequel Off the Eaten Path: Second Helpings: Tasty eats and delicious stories from the South's less-traveled trails (ISBN 978-0848739553) followed in 2013,[21]
  • In 2014 he published Bourbon & Bacon: The Ultimate Guide to the South's Favorite Food Groups (ISBN 978-0848743161), featuring recipes using bourbon, bacon, or a combination of the two.[22] The book includes a history of bourbon and tasting notes for 75 of his favorite whiskies.[23]
  • In 2015, he published Off the Eaten Path: On the Road Again: More Unforgettable Foods and Characters from the South's Back Roads and Byways (ISBN 978-0848744441), a third entry in his "Off the Eaten Path" series.[10]

Classic cars and the website venture[edit]

Murphy is a classic car enthusiast with a special focus on vintage Cadillacs. In 2005, Murphy discovered "The Duchess"[24] – a 1941 Cadillac limousine created for the abdicated king Edward VIII and his consort Wallis Simpson – in a barn in Fort Worth, Texas.[11][25] The car was a one-of-a-kind creation by General Motors' chief designer Harley Earl, under the direction of the company's chairman and chief executive officer, Alfred P. Sloan. When Murphy purchased the car, it was in disrepair and its provenance was unproven.[26] Murphy conducted a three-year restoration effort,[27] and in November 2013, he offered the car for sale through an RM Auctions and Sotheby's "Art of the Automobile" sale.[28][29][30] The auction houses called it "one of the most famous and iconic cars of both American and English society", and suggested the car should sell for between $500,000 and $800,000.[28][29][30]

In 2007, Murphy left Southern Living and founded, which was claimed to be the world's first social network for classic car enthusiasts.[11][31] The launch was backed by more than $1 million in venture capital.[32] In late 2010, Murphy had recently toured the country in a vintage Cadillac to promote the site's launch (and had nine Cadillacs in his possession).[11] However, as of March 2015, the domain name was no longer operating as a distinct website and was simply a redirect to Murphy's personal site.[33]

Personal life and education[edit]

Murphy was born in Mountain Brook, Alabama (a suburb of Birmingham) and grew up in Birmingham, where he currently resides.[11]

He received a Bachelor's degree in 1994 from Birmingham-Southern College (which honored him with its Distinguished Alumni Award in 2013).[11][34] He then received an MBA from the University of Oxford,[35] where he was a member of Exeter College[11] and was elected by the university as its "MBA of the Year".[36][better source needed]


  1. ^ Young, Toby (2001). How to Lose Friends and Alienate People. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press. p. 129. ISBN 0-306-81188-X. 
  2. ^ "Magic Coins by Morgan Murphy". Forbes. 20 March 2000. 
  3. ^ "'Off the Eaten Path' author and 'Southern Living' food critic reveals life on the culinary road". Manchester Times. 25 June 2013. 
  4. ^ "Chef and New Orleans native David Guas returns home Thursday to record new Travel Channel show, 'American Grilled'". New Orleans Times Picayune. 16 April 2014. 
  5. ^ "Cooking with Morgan Murphy". NBC Today Show. 20 May 2011. 
  6. ^ "LCDR Morgan Murphy Returns from Afghanistan". Fox News. 18 May 2011. 
  7. ^ "Car Talk Goes Off the Eaten Path". National Public Radio. July 2011. 
  8. ^ "Food News with Morgan Murphy". National Public Radio. 13 June 2011. 
  9. ^ "Test Drive the Acura TL with Morgan Murphy". Speed Channel. Sep 2010. 
  10. ^ a b "Off the Eaten Path: On the Road Again, by Southern Living". Retrieved 15 April 2015. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Larger than Life". B Metro Magazine. 21 December 2010. 
  12. ^ "Memorial Day Message from Morgan Murphy: Savoring the Ordinary for all Who Gave the Ultimate Sacrifice". Fox News. 28 May 2012. 
  13. ^ "Lt. Cmdr. Morgan Murphy: The Frontline Foodie". Fox News. 17 May 2011. 
  14. ^ "Veteran's Day Interview on DEFCON 3 with KT McFarland". Fox News. November 2012. 
  15. ^ "I Love You Now Hush". Alabama Public Radio. 26 April 2010. 
  16. ^ "Book of the Year Awards 2010", Foreword.
  17. ^ "Southern food critic goes 'Off the Eaten Path". The Atlanta Journal Constitution. 23 May 2011. 
  18. ^ "South a road-tripper's feast". The Chicago Tribune. 10 January 2012. 
  19. ^ "Off the Trail with Morgan Murphy". ABC36 Lexington, KY. 17 September 2012. 
  20. ^
  21. ^ "10 Great Places to Eat Like a Local". USA Today. 4 August 2011. 
  22. ^ "Pig and swig: "Bourbon & Bacon: The Ultimate Guide to the South's Favorite Food Groups"". Knoxville News Sentinel. 2 September 2014. 
  23. ^ "A Writer Walks into a Bar". Roanoke Times. 3 September 2014. 
  24. ^ "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 October 2013. 
  25. ^ "Duke and Duchess of Windsor's Cadillac heads to NYC auction; Ala. collector found it in Texas". The Washington Post. 24 October 2013. 
  26. ^ "Duke of Windsor's 1941 Cadillac limousine to be sold at auction". Reuters. 24 October 2013. 
  27. ^ "Duchess 1941 Cadillac restored by Morgan Murphy, food critic". Old Cars Weekly. 4 November 2013. 
  28. ^ a b "Duke of Windsor's 1941 Cadillac limousine to be auctioned in New York City". Robb Report. 25 October 2013. 
  29. ^ a b "Will the Duke of Windsor's Cadillac Start a Bidding War?". The Wall Street Journal. 25 October 2013. 
  30. ^ a b "1941 Cadillac Custom Limousine 'The Duchess' by General Motors", RM Auctions website, accessed 24 March 2015.
  31. ^ "Entrepreneur profile: Morgan Murphy of Motorpool LLC". The Birmingham News. 24 September 2010. 
  32. ^ "Facebook for Cars? Birmingham Entrepreneur Starts Website". The Birmingham Business Journal. 23 March 2009. 
  33. ^ website, accessed 24 March 2015.
  34. ^ Distinguished Alumni Recipients 2013, Birmingham-Southern College, 2013
  35. ^ Morgan Murphy: Food critic and best-selling food writer profile page on the University of Oxford Saïd Business School website (accessed 24 March 2015)
  36. ^ "Interview with Morgan Murphy of Motorpool". The University of Oxford. May 2008. 

External links[edit]