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Remembering

Jonathan

Gold

1960 — 2018

KCRW mourns the death of our friend, the Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold. Please join us in celebrating the life of this giant who helped us find our place in this sprawling city by eating our way through it.

Remembering

Jonathan

Gold

1960 — 2018

KCRW mourns the death of our friend, the Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold. Please join us in celebrating the life of this giant who helped us find our place in this sprawling city by eating our way through it.

For many years, Jonathan Gold remained anonymous while reviewing Los Angeles’ restaurant scene. Photo by Marie Gonzales.

KCRW mourns the death of our friend, the Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold. He died of pancreatic cancer on Saturday, July 21, one week before his 58th birthday. He leaves behind a spouse, Laurie Ochoa, and two children.

For more than 20 years, Jonathan’s voice could be regularly heard on “Good Food.” In his distinctive cadence, he helped Angelenos better understand the astonishing diversity of our city’s food and neighborhoods.

This page will be regularly updated with our favorite segments with Jonathan, as well as remembrances from friends of the show. Please join us in celebrating the life of this giant who helped us find our place in this sprawling city by eating our way through it.





Jonathan Gold and Good Food

When I started hosting Good Food in 1998, I was skeptical about my ability to channel all that food reveals about humanity to a listening audience. After all, I had spent most of my time in restaurant kitchens not doing much talking. But over time I learned what an intimate medium radio is, and I began to grasp how engaged of an audience you are. When Jonathan started visiting us to record his review segments, I was completely intimidated. I felt that I wasn’t worthy to chime in with my opinions or thoughts, so mostly I listened and egged him onto the next thought. This went on for years. When I did (rarely) venture an opinion, he would bristle ever so slightly, like an actor who felt their line was being stepped on—at which point I pulled back. But eventually I would try again, and I could feel that now he was ready to hear what I had to say. Occasionally, he even paused to say “interesting,” or “exactly,” or “I didn’t think of that.”

Wow, how thrilling it was to feel Mr. Gold’s validation. When in the presence of such a mind, such a voracious intellect, there’s pressure to hold up your end. But really, what delighted him most were the small asides that cracked him up. In the end, it’s the small, most human things that remain. It’s just that in the case of Mr. Gold, those small things added up to something quite monumental.

How deeply sad I am that I will no longer be able to share him with you. I know from the outpouring of kind notes this week that you feel that, too. So many of you commented on how we interacted nearly like siblings, how you could hear the love we had for each other even while we bantered for the umpteenth time about noodles, or how some restaurants put eggs on every dish, one of his pet peeves. That makes me happy: to know that the work we did all these years drew you into our relationship, and made you feel a part of ours. There’s no greater gift than that. I’m sending all of you hugs in comfort. Thank you for sending me yours.

-Evan Kleiman

Colleagues of Gold’s have flooded social media with remembrances of the “belly of Los Angeles”:





















Here are some hits from Gold’s tenure on KCRW, which spanned 5 producers, 20 years, and hundreds of restaurants:

Gold tries Roy Choi’s Kogi tacos for the first time in 2009:



Hear Gold’s 2012 “Essential 99 Restaurants” list for LA Weekly, rapped:



Gold shared his thoughts on Sang Yoon’s (then) newest gift to L.A.’s long list of great restaurants, in 2011.



Gold stopped by Guest DJ Project in 2009 to dish on his long history with classical music, as well as history with punk and rap:

DnA: Frances Anderton and Jonathan Gold Discuss Restaurant Acoustics

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