Jonathan Gold, fresh off his James Beard Foundation win, will be splitting some of the food writing duties at the LA Weekly with a second staff critic. Ben Calderwood started this week, writing for print and the Squid Ink blog. Also, J. Patrick Coolican is coming over from Las Vegas to join Dennis Romero as news blogger for LA Daily. Editor Drex Heikes' memo to the staff this afternoon calls Coolican "the premier government and political reporter in Nevada." Heikes had been a top editor at the Las Vegas Sun before joining the Weekly as editor last year. Memo after the jump:
I'm please to announce that two talented writers are joining the Weekly in new jobs.
--J. Patrick Coolican will come aboard next month as a news blogger, teaming up with Dennis Romero to give us powerful tandem of veterans as we continue our strong growth in online readership. Patrick also will manage our interns and intern program.
Patrick was one of the first news bloggers in the nation a decade ago when he started his own blog covering the 2000 presidential campaign. He then moved to the Seattle Times, where he launched that newspaper's first election-year blog. He joined the Las Vegas Sun in 2006 and quickly established himself as the premier government and political reporter in Nevada.
Patrick is a graduate of Notre Dame, where he majored in "Great Books," which he describes as "a dead-white-male blend of philosophy and literature with some science thrown in."
--Ben Calderwood started this week as our second food critic, joining Jonathan Gold, Amy Scattergood and Amy's lineup of strong freelancers to produce the best food coverage in Los Angeles. (Jonathan won the James Beard award in New York on Monday for his restaurant criticism.)
Ben is a lifelong home cook and first-rate chocolatier who has worked most recently in advertising, as a copy writer and an idea man. Ben will contribute daily posts to Squid Ink and write for print regularly.
He is a graduate of UCLA, where majored in theater.
Ben and Patrick will be working in different fields, but they share one trait: They are special writers.