The eGullet Society is proud to welcome Mimi Sheraton for this week's Q&A. Although she requires no introduction, we thought a few background facts might be in order.
Mimi Sheraton grew up in Brooklyn in a very food-oriented family. Her mother was a great cook and her father was in the wholesale fruit and produce business in Washington Market. She studied marketing and minored in journalism at NYU, and then began writing home furnishings copy for an ad agency, after which she became a home furnishings copywriter for Good Housekeeping magazine. She attended evening classes at the New York School of Interior Decorating (now called Design) and for about eight years was a home furnishings editor on Seventeen and House Beautiful’s supplement division.
Gradually she began to write about food, and became a research consultant to Joe Baum at Restaurant Associates when the company was planning the Four Seasons restaurant. She later worked on other RA projects such as The Towers Suite, Zum Zum and Trattoria before turning full time to food writing. She traveled widely on research assignments for RA, for articles, for a travel guidebook called City Portraits and buying samples of folk art for the Georg Jensen store in NYC. During those trips, she took courses with various cooks and chefs, most especially in Denmark, Cambodia, Lebanon and Turkey.
She took courses both at The China Institute in NYC and Le Cordon Bleu in Paris.
She was a restaurant critic first for Cue, then for The Village Voice and freelanced on food and travel for many magazines such as Mademoiselle and Town & Country. For five years, she was a contributor to the original New York Magazine under Clay Felker and did her first big story there: “I Taste Everything in Bloomingdale’s Food Dept.” It was then the hottest gourmet food shop in town, and she reported on 1,196 products.
She went to the New York Times in 1975 as a food reporter, became the restaurant critic in 1976 and stayed until the end of 1983. After that, she was a contributor to Time, Vanity Fair, Code Nast Traveler and New Woman. She has also written for Vogue, Eros, Avant-Garde, Food & Wine and still writes freelance articles for the Times.
Mimi Sheraton has written 15 books, including The German Cookbook: A Complete Guide to Mastering Authentic German Cooking, Is Salami and Eggs Better Than Sex? Memoirs of a Happy Eater (with Alan King), The Bialy Eaters: The Story of a Bread and a Lost World, and most recently, the memoir Eating My Words: An Appetite for Life. She has consulted to New York University Hospital (now Tisch) on patient food and has made a special study of school and other institutional food.
For five years, she also curated exhibits on the popular arts for a gallery owned by Hallmark Cards that used to be on 5th Avenue and 56th Street, now the Fendi store. Such exhibits were usually based on food, decorating or folkcrafts.
She won a J.C. Penny-Missouri journalism award for work in New York Magazine and a Front Page award for a Times article. One of her books, The Whole World Loves Chicken Soup, won both the IACP and James Beard awards, and she won a Beard journalism award for a Vanity Fair article on the Four Seasons’s 40th anniversary.
She is married to Richard Falcone, a retired importer, and lives in Greenwich Village (where she has lived for 60 years) in a brownstone. They have one son, a lawyer married to a lawyer, and one granddaughter.
Photo of Mimi Sheraton in her Greenwich Village kitchen, by Ya-Roo Yang
About Mimi Sheraton
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