What Do You Do, Alan Richman, Food Writer?

Up for three (more) James Beard Awards, Richman talks about citizen criticism, being funny in print, and what sets his writing apart from most

By Blake Gernstetter – full feature appears on mediabistro.com

Alan Richman’s food writing career was an accident. In 1975, the then-sportswriter began moonlighting as a restaurant critic and eventually got a gig at GQ which led to his meteoric rise as the most decorated food writer in history. The “Meryl Streep” of the James Beard Foundation Journalism Awards, the GQ contributor boasts 14 wins and 29 nominations, including three this year. He’s spent the last three decades traveling the globe to bring insightful, often funny and sometimes cranky, food stories to the table. Fearless in the face of Neapolitan pizza lovers yet comically threatened by a 12-year-old boy, Richman firmly believes all good food writing starts with good journalism — the first lesson he teaches his students at the French Culinary Institute of New York.


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