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Remembering Jonathan Gold

Los Angeles Times restaurant critic Jonathan Gold
Los Angeles Times restaurant critic Jonathan Gold
Maya Sugarman/KPCC

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Pulitzer-Prize winning food critic Jonathan Gold, who wrote lyrically and passionately about everything from taquerias to the world's finest restaurants, has died. He was 57.

The loss will be felt deeply in the city of Los Angeles and by food lovers everywhere. Gold, a Los Angeles native, had just recently been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He died at an L.A. hospital surrounded by family.

"One of the greatest in L.A." said Mayor Eric Garcetti on hearing the news. "A man who made L.A. soar. Who articulated this moment. Who was Los Angeles in many ways."

It would be difficult to overstate Gold's impact on the culture of food in Southern California. His reviews of L.A.'s restaurants drew international attention to the region's unique fusion of cultures. But he also saw it as a mosaic, an "anti-melting pot," where immigrants opened restaurants that maintained the unique flavors of home without having to bow to American palates.

"The idea that you have all these communities, and all these viewpoints, and all these histories coming together in sort of this vast glittering fabric," he said in an interview with Take Two when the 2016 documentary about his life "City of Gold" was released.

Read the full obituary on LAist.

With guest host Libby Denkmann.


Amy Scattergood, food editor for the Los Angeles Times, who edited Jonathan Gold since 2009

Armando De La Torre, Jr., co-founder and general manager of the Mexican restaurant Guisados in Boyle Heights and other parts of LA

Sean Xie, co-owner of Chengdu Taste, a Sichuan restaurant that opened in Alhambra in 2013, and has since expanded to 5 other cities in the US

Amy Duan, founder and CEO of Chihuo, a chinese language food review site based in the San Gabriel Valley

Gustavo Arellano, California columnist for L.A. Times Opinion section, who wrote about Gold’s impact on Southern California; former writer and editor at OC Weekly, who founded the “¡Ask a Mexican!” column; he tweets @GustavoArellano