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Posts Tagged ‘Jonathan Gold’

LA Weekly Adopting Five-Star Restaurant Rating Scale

This seems like a no-brainer. Especially for an alt-weekly always on the lookout for additional ways to get its hooks into a readership hungry for good eats, great events and the ease of quick-scan capsule reviews.

Starting in the new year, LA Weekly will adopt a zero-through-five-stars rating scale for restaurants. As Jonathan Gold‘s 2012 replacement Besha Rodell explains, the idea took root during her whirlwind LA spring job interview and city tour with food editor Amy Scattergood:

At one restaurant, we ran into one of the city’s best-known chefs. He had no idea who I was, of course, or why I was there. But he and Amy got to talking about the subject of star ratings. The LA Times had just abandoned its long-standing star system, and the chef bemoaned the loss.

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Sarah Fenske on Replacing Jonathan Gold

For the latest installment of Mediabistro’s weekly series “So What Do You Do…?”, I had the pleasure of conversing with LA Weekly editor-in-chief Sarah Fenske.

The Q&A delves into such topics as the LA Times paywall, the current state of her alt weekly and arguably Fenske’s biggest challenge so far – replacing Pulitzer Prize winning food critic Jonathan Gold. Here’s part of what she told me about that:

“Jonathan was – and is – an incredibly beautiful writer, but he never writes negative reviews. That worked for him, wonderfully, and it still works now that he’s over at the Times. But what is the Weekly if not the alternative: the smart, edgy voice that calls bullshit? We needed someone who could be critical when it was called for, and who had no loyalties, and who was not interested in befriending the city’s chefs… We needed someone fearless.”

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Video: Bill Plaschke Once Ate Penis in China

Eat your heart out, Jonathan Gold.

Los Angeles Times sports columnist Bill Plaschke shared a great story before ESPN’s Around the Horn Friday about the time he ate penis in China.

Don’t believe him? Watch the video.

Happy Friday, folks.

LitFest Pasadena This Saturday

Pasadena’s first community-wide book festival is launching this Saturday. The free event will feature local authors and publishers in readings and panel discussions, as well as children’s activities, music, theater, and best of all, food trucks.

Pulitzer Prize winner and Pasadena resident Jonathan Gold will be in attendance for a little sit down chat with KPCC book critic David KipenLarry Wilson, event co-founder and public editor of the Pasadena Star-News, will interview award-winning novelists Janet Fitch and Michelle Huneven. And then there’s a panel discussion on L.A. Noir led by best-selling mystery writer Denise Hamilton. Find the full schedule here and here.

LitFest runs from 9:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. in Pasadena’s Central Park.

LA Weekly Adds Wine, Food Critics

The journalistic place setting of Jonathan Gold is a big one to fill. So it makes sense that several new hires have been tasked at LA Weekly with taking over the Pulitzer Prize winner’s culinary beat.

Editor-in-chief Sarah Fenske announced today that Amy Scattergood, the editor of Squid Ink, has been promoted to the position of LA Weekly food editor. Under her command will be new three employees, including food blogger Garrett Snyder. Per Fenske:

You may remember Snyder’s byline from that awesomely knowledgeable list of LA’s Best Sushi Places – or his thrilling description of an underground dinner thrown by the Vagrancy Project. Garret graduated from Loyola Marymount University just two years ago, but he’s already one of this city’s best food bloggers, and we’re thrilled to have him on staff.

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Huffington Post Wins a Pulitzer

The winners of the 2012 Pulitzer Prizes were announced just minutes ago. And there were some shockers. Huffington Post military correspondent David Wood‘s 10-part series “Beyond the Battlefield” won the award for National Reporting.

“While it’s tempting to see the Huffington Post’s Pulitzer as a ‘big win for new media,’ or something like that, the real story is that these organizations — the Huffington Post, the New York Times, the Washington Post–are becoming more like each other. Old media and new media are increasingly antiquated terms,” NYU media critic Jay Rosen told HuffPo.

Could anyone imagine HuffPo winning a Pulitzer five years ago? Kudos to them for investing in real journalism.

In another shocker, The Stranger’s Eli Sanders won the award for Feature Writing. Sanders is the first alt-weekly writer to win a Pulitzer since Jonathan Gold did it back in 2007.

Full list of winners after the jump.

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Jonathan Gold’s Nine-Course Marijuana Sampler

Here’s one way to inspire readers to pay for a paywall: unleash your brand new, returning Pulitzer Prize winning food critic on a buffet of 420-laced delicacies.

Under the headline “A Marijuana-Infused Meal? Well…,” Jonathan Gold details the sampling of nine different weed-tastic culinary offerings. FishbowlLA’s favorite detail has to be the way the esteemed restaurant critic connected with his pot luck (sorry) host:

The first time I met [Nguyen] Tran, on a social-media panel somewhere, he happened to be wearing a banana suit, and he has been known to show up to food events dressed as a tauntaun from The Empire Strikes Back. I like his Starry Kitchen, a pan-Asian lunchroom in a downtown office-building food court, and I admire the running pop-up restaurant he mounts with chef Laurent Quenioux. But the notion of an “herb” dinner wasn’t especially my thing.

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LA Times Already Marketing Jonathan Gold

The Los Angeles Times is attempting to sell digital subscriptions with a sneak peek of Jonathan Gold‘s debut column, which appears in the print version on Saturday. The ad below was sent out in an email blast Thursday evening to potential subscribers, promising them access to Mr. Gold’s latest “for less than the price of a shrimp-pumpkin dumpling.”

Clearly the LA Times expects the Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic to help them sell their new digital subscription service. It’s a sign of just how valuable a commodity Gold is, and how much the LA Weekly lost when he jumped ship. Incidentally, the paper’s new paywall went into effect on March 5, the same day as the annual Gold Standard foodie event – effectively Mr. Gold’s last day with the LA Weekly.

Gold’s first column is about CITY Night at downtown’s Border Grill. Shrimp-pumpkin dumplings were not on the menu.

Stages of Grief Setting In at LA Weekly Over Jonathan Gold Exit

The reality of Jonathan Gold‘s impeding departure from the LA Weekly is starting to sting the paper’s staff. Especially since the reconstituted Weekly of the past few years has been built largely around food coverage. Squid Ink’s Amy Scattergood is going through her “5 Stages of Grief.” Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance: they’re all there. And they all seem to involve eating lots of spicy food and sausage.

Meanwhile, Weekly blogger Ali Trachta has taken a more New Orleans dirge-style approach to Gold’s loss–appropriate, given yesterday’s conclusion of the Mardi Gras season. Trachta dug up this hip-hop serenade of Gold and his annual 99 Essential Restaurants list by Conor Knighton.

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Jonathan Gold-Watch Gets Dramatic**

The single most juicy question on the minds of media watchers in LA right now is undoubtedly whether Jonathan Gold is really heading to the LA Times. Over the weekend LA Observed reported that even though Gold had a signed deal with the LA Times, Village Voice Media owner Mike Lacey was pulling out all the stops to keep Gold at the LA Weekly--and a bidding war with the Times for Gold’s services was in full swing. This morning, however, a post on the food blog of the LA Weekly‘s sister paper The Village Voice seemed to confirm that Gold was indeed leaving for the LA Times.

The post’s title was unambiguous. “Jonathan Gold Leaving L.A. Weekly for L.A. Times,” screamed the headline. The author of the post then wished Gold “the greatest success in his new job.”

Well, that must be that then, no? The Village Voice is the biggest property in VVM’s chain. Lacey must have given them the scoop, figuring if he was going to lose Gold, he might as well hand his paper a big story.

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