Gael Greene, one of the most famous restaurant critics, has passed away at the age of 88. She died on Tuesday morning of natural causes. Greene worked with New York Magazine for 40 years, covering and critiquing the city’s food scene.
The restaurant critic was also an author and a humanitarian. She was known as the co-founder of Citymeals on Wheels, a non-profit organization aimed at funding weekend and holiday meals for home-bound elderly people in New York City. Continue reading to know more about the food reviewer’s life and career.
Restaurant Critic Gael Greene Passes Away at 88
The news of Greene’s death was first shared by writer and editor Ruth Reichl, who wrote on Twitter, “I am very sad to report that Gael Greene passed away this morning. A huge heart and a huge talent. She is irreplaceable.”
Beth Shapiro, the executive director for Citymeals on Wheels, also released a statement, saying, “She built tremendous influence as a food critic, at a time when fewer doors were open to women. And she recognized the privileged life she was living as a foodie and sought to share that with others.”
Citymeals board co-president Daniel Boulud also paid tribute to the critic and said, “She was a fierce food critic and an even fiercer advocate for those who need a voice. Gael was dedicated to helping the home bound elderly retain their dignity and enjoy the comfort of their homes. Citymeals will continue to be inspired by her compassionate leadership.”
Gael Greene Joined New York Magazine in 1968
After a year at the New York Post as a general assignment reporter, Greene joined the New York Magazine as a critic in 1968. Her reviews gained immense popularity for being a blend of humor and food assessment.
Gael worked with the magazine till 2002 and wrote several memorable articles over the years, including The Mafia Guide to Dining Out and Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Ice Cream But Were Too Fat To Ask.
Greene also had some writing credits to her name, including the non-fiction guide Delicious Sex: A Book for Women and the Men Who Want to Love Them Better, the memoir Insatiable: Tales from a Life of Delicious Excess, and the best-selling novels Blue Skies, No Candy and Doctor Love.
Greene was Known for her Humanitarian Work
In 1981, Greene co-founded Citymeals on Wheels with chef James Beard. In the first year, the organization raised $35,000, which grew over the years and distributed around 2.7 million meals last year.
Citymeals’ founding executive director, Marcia Stein, said in a statement, “Gael could not live with the idea that a city of such abundance and extraordinary food could not feed its oldest and most frail. For four decades, she used her celebrity, creativity, and genius to make sure there would always be a nutritious meal at the door for them, every day of the year.”
Greene was also credited with coining the term ‘foodie’, which she first used in a column in 1980. In 2012, she expressed how the word went to be “on everybody’s list of toxic words in food writing… When I said it, it was a wonderful thing to be.”
Our condolences to Gael Greene’s family and friends. May her soul rest in peace!