Longtime food critic for the New York Times. He set the standard for modern reviews: objectivity, professionalism, and authority.
He trained in preparing French cuisine at a high-end Swiss hotel, and then wrote for Gourmet magazine before joining the Times.
He took food articles from fluff pieces to regular and popular features. He introduced the star rating system in the U.S., and wrote popular recipe books.
He grew up in a stifling Mississippi household, often bullied at school for being a sissy, and finding refuge in his mother's kitchen.
He was a contemporary of celebrity chef Julia Child, but even she could not claim the same influence as he held.