Jonathan Gold, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Los Angeles Food Writer, Dies at 57

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Jonathan Gold

Gold's wife, Laurie Ochoa, said that he died Saturday of pancreatic cancer after first being diagnosed with the disease earlier this month.

Jonathan Gold, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times restaurant critic, has died, according to the outlet. He was 57.

Gold's wife, Laurie Ochoa (arts and entertainment editor for the Times), said that Gold died Saturday of pancreatic cancer in Los Angeles, after first being diagnosed with the disease earlier this month.

Throughout his over four decades-long career, Gold also wrote for LA Weekly and Gourmet, among others. He also authored the book Counter Intelligence: Where to Eat in the Real Los Angeles.

A 2015 documentary profiling Gold and his work, City of Gold, debuted at the Sundance Film Festival. In his review of the film, The Hollywood Reporter's Todd McCarthy wrote, "The first and only food critic to win a Pulitzer Prize, Gold is the great democratizer of his profession, placing food truck tacos and Chinese mini-mall noodles on the same gastronomic plane as French haute cuisine or expense account sushi. Laura Gabbert's accessible and informative close-up documentary City of Gold appreciates all this and usefully puts the man in context as it accompanies him around the city while he offers a running commentary on his enviable job."

Aside from the Pulitzer, Gold has won seven James Beard Awards for his restaurant criticism — the Oscars of the food world. THR previously described Gold's work thusly: "His exhaustive, pioneering explorations of the sprawling city’s ethnic dining enclaves, beginning in the early 1990s, constituted a then-novel approach for a mainstream critic, at a time when colleagues of a similar stature across the country focused much more exclusively on temples of haute cuisine. Gold’s M.O. anticipated today’s far more egalitarian foodie culture, in which the culinary cognoscenti holds up food trucks and strip mall finds in high regard."

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti shared his condolences on Twitter. "A very sad day for LA as Jonathan Gold left us. He was the soul of this city and all of its amazing flavors. He was a personal friend and inspiration—there will never be another like him. My heart goes out to the Gold family with the millions of Angelenos who loved him," he wrote.

Somebody Feed Phil's Phil Rosenthal also shared his thoughts, writing, "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."

In addition to Ochoa, Gold leaves behind two children.