UNITED STATES—Food critic Jonathan Gold died on Saturday, July 21 at the age of 57. While writing for LA Weekly, Gold won a Pulitzer in 2007 for criticism. According to reports, he died from pancreatic cancer. He had been diagnosed with the disease in early July.
His creative writing helped bring the uniqueness of the various Los Angeles cuisines to life. He liked different types of restaurants, but had a particular fondness for small, taco spots, according to reports.
According to the New York Times, Gold was known as the most prominent food reviewer for the City of Angels. Ruth Reicel, who hired Gold for the Los Angeles Times, said, “He really got that food was a gateway into the people, and that food could really define a community. He was really writing about the people more than the food.”
A documentary about Gold’s life, “City of Gold” debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in 2015. The City of Gold Doc website states, “Gold has long been known for his robust writing about the hidden culinary treasures in LA; he was one of the first critics to review small family owned restaurants in far-flung ethnic enclaves with as much care as the haute cuisine establishments of Beverly Hills.”
The website continues saying, “CITY OF GOLD also explores the rigor, knowledge and compassion that makes Jonathan’s style of criticism stand apart. Jonathan Gold maps Los Angeles through his Odyssey-like quests for new food experiences so that we too can discover and understand our city.”
Throughout his career as a food critic, Gold worked for LA Weekly (1982-2012), the Los Angeles Times (2012-2018), and Gourmet magazine for two years.
He leaves behind his wife, Laurie Ochoa and two children, Isabel and Leon.