The terrible news over the weekend was that the peerless food writer Jonathan Gold has died: a shocking surprise to most of us.
No doubt a lot of people who knew Jonathan much better than I did will be writing about him. We didn’t see each other very often, but we’d eaten together, been at various events, exchanged emails from time, and I thought of him as a friend. I’m sure a great many did.
A few things to say immediately –
The best thing about his food writing - he wasn’t only interested in food – he knew and cared about music, literature, painting and much else besides, and it showed in his writing.
He was wonderfully skilled at making you understand what a restaurant was actually like. I’m not sure I ever read a really scorchingly bad review by him (though I know a few exist) and yet from his descriptions I absolutely knew there were some restaurants I’d never, ever want to go to.
I once asked him why he drove a big pickup truck, and he replied “Because I’m a big man.”
|Photo by the blessed Anne Fishbien|
And finally, and forgive me if you’ve heard me say this before – he is the only Pulitzer Prize winner with whom I’ve ever shared a plate of pigs’ trotters. The only one I’m ever likely to. These are the trotters in question: