LA Weekly food writer Jonathan Gold won a Pulitzer Prize today in Criticism. It's the first Pulitzer ever for a food critic, according to the Weekly, and the paper's first. By the looks of things, some celebratory spraying ensued before Gold shared a sip with his wife, Weekly editor in chief Laurie Ochoa.
Staff writers Kenneth R. Weiss and Usha Lee McFarling and photographer Rick Loomis of the Los Angeles Times won in Explanatory Reporting for Altered Oceans. In addition, Ray Bradbury and John Coltrane received special citations.
Here's Gold's bio and what Pulitzer.org says in the criticism category, which had been a little controversial:
Awarded to Jonathan Gold of LA Weekly for his zestful, wide ranging restaurant reviews, expressing the delight of an erudite eater.
Also nominated as finalists in this category were: Christopher Knight of the Los Angeles Times for his pieces on art that reflect meticulous reporting, aesthetic judgment and authoritative voice, and Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times for his passionate music criticism, marked by resonant writing and an ability to give life to the people behind a performance.
Here's what the Pulitzer board says about Altered Oceans:
For a distinguished example of explanatory reporting that illuminates a significant and complex subject, demonstrating mastery of the subject, lucid writing and clear presentation, in print or in print and online, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
Awarded to Kenneth R. Weiss, Usha Lee McFarling and Rick Loomis of the Los Angeles Times for their richly portrayed reports on the world's distressed oceans, telling the story in print and online, and stirring reaction among readers and officials.
The Times' foreign staff was also a finalist in international reporting for their Iraq war coverage. So most of the rumors proved again to be true, including that Knight and Swed — who self-nominated themselves — were finalists and that the three official entries submitted by LAT editors — Tim Rutten, Ann Powers and Christopher Hawthorne — were passed over. Here's the previous LA Observed post on that.
Pulitzer.org and list of finalists
Times story on Pulitzers
Responding to Pulitzer buzz
Look for an L.A. Pulitzer
* Updated with new info and photo
Photo: Rena Kosnett