Jonathan Gold, ‘Los Angeles Times’ Award-Winning Restaurant Critic, Dead At 57

Gold was the first restaurant critic to win a Pulitzer prize

Will Guidara tapes his SiriusXM show, First Date with Will Guidara, featuring Los Angeles Times food critic Jonathan Gold
Charley Gallay / Getty Images

Gold was the first restaurant critic to win a Pulitzer prize

A beloved writer and foodie has passed away delivering a major blow to the Los Angeles culinary scene. Jonathan Gold, the Los Angeles Times restaurant and food critic died at age 57 after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer earlier this month.

CNN says that Gold was the first food critic to receive the Pulitzer back in 2007 for his critiques. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said that Jonathan Gold and his commentary will be missed.

“There will never be another like Jonathan Gold, who will forever be our brilliant, indispensable guide through the culinary paradise that is Los Angeles.”

Garcetti continued with a written statement saying that Gold was incredibly well-liked, especially for a critic.

“Jonathan earned worldwide acclaim as a food critic, but he possessed the soul of a poet whose words helped readers everywhere understand the history and culture of our city. His passing is a loss for all who share his love for L.A. and unique understanding of how food — whether served from a truck window or atop a white tablecloth — is an incomparable expression of our common humanity.”

Gold was said to have changed the world of food criticism when he included places off the beaten path and even food establishments without the fancy trimmings. Gold saw cuisine less as a fashion show and more as an investigation into its content.

Phil Rosenthal of the Netflix series, Somebody Feed Phil was among the many celebrities that spoke out on social media to share his thoughts about Jonathan Gold.

“Our greatest food writer, and a personal hero, friend, and inspiration has passed way too soon. He always highlighted the good. He made Los Angeles and the world better. Rest In Peace Jonathan.”

The Washington Post reported that Gold, a Los Angeles native who worked in the industry for three decades, passed yesterday, July 21, of aggressive cancer. Russ Parsons, the former Los Angeles Times food editor, said that Gold helped define the Los Angeles food scene.

“Over the last 30 years, I don’t think there has ever been anyone, anywhere, who has more defined a food scene than Jonathan Gold did with Los Angeles. He started at a time when a few big-deal restaurants were being glorified and he appreciated them, but his real passion was finding the day-to-day restaurants in Los Angeles that typified the cultural vibrancy that we enjoy here.”

Gold was known as someone who loved what he did and used food as a metaphor for society and a way of relating to people.