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about paul levy

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Paul Levy was born in Lexington, Kentucky in 1941, though he has lived almost all his adult life in England. (He is the author of Finger-Lickin’ Good: A Kentucky Childhood [London, 1986].

He was educated at the University of Chicago, University College London, Harvard (Ph.D. 1979) and Nuffield College, Oxford.

In 1974 he abandoned academia, and began reviewing books for The Observer, the British national Sunday paper, with which he was associated until 1991. In 1980 he leapt over the filing cabinets that separated the literary pages from the feature pages, and began writing a column on food. (He first wrote on that subject in 1977 for Harper’s & Queen and The New York Times.) His was the first non-recipe column on food, and it attracted a large male readership as well as the existing readership for cookery columns. By the third year of the column, it had won every British prize for food journalism at least twice, and in 1985 and again in 1987, he was commended in the British Press Awards, the equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize.

During his time on The Observer he introduced the nouvelle cuisine chefs of France to the British public, and many informed people felt that his journalism had an influence on the changing eating habits of the country.

By 1984, when he and Ann Barr wrote the notorious, best-selling Official Foodie Handbook, he was well known in food and wine circles in France and the USA as well as Britain. Throughout the 1980s and early 90s he was a featured speaker at conferences on food and wine in Britain, Australia, India, the USA and France. He travelled widely in those years, repeatedly visiting China, South-East Asia, Australia, India, South Africa, Latin America, the former Soviet Union, several Eastern bloc countries and most of the countries of Western Europe, as well as making frequent trips to the USA.

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about paul levy

By 1984, when he and Ann Barr wrote the notorious, best-selling Official Foodie Handbook, he was well known in food and wine circles in France and the USA as well as Britain. Throughout the 1980s and early 90s he was a featured speaker at conferences on food and wine in Britain, Australia, India, the USA and France. He travelled widely in those years, repeatedly visiting China, South-East Asia, Australia, India, South Africa, Latin America, the former Soviet Union, several Eastern bloc countries and most of the countries of Western Europe, as well as making frequent trips to the USA.

In 1986 he was the sole judge of the best restaurant in Australia competition. The judging was interrupted by a national airline strike, and he therefore criss-crossed the continent in the private jet belonging to the sponsoring magazine’s publisher, Kerry Packer. In the early 1990s he gave a seminar on wine service and storage for about thirty executives of the Taj Hotel chain in India, which resulted in their instituting a new and effective set of quality controls. He has acted as a paid consultant for supermarket chains, organizing meetings to discuss food trends, and has been a consultant for several restaurants, on both the food and wine sides, especially enjoying writing a wine list for an upmarket Indian restaurant.

Paul Levy was born in Lexington, Kentucky in 1941, though he has lived almost all his adult life in England. (He is the author of Finger-Lickin’ Good: A Kentucky Childhood [London, 1986].

He was educated at the University of Chicago, University College London, Harvard (Ph.D. 1979) and Nuffield College, Oxford.

In 1974 he abandoned academia, and began reviewing books for The Observer, the British national Sunday paper, with which he was associated until 1991. In 1980 he leapt over the filing cabinets that separated the literary pages from the feature pages, and began writing a column on food. (He first wrote on that subject in 1977 for Harper’s & Queen and The New York Times.) His was the first non-recipe column on food, and it attracted a large male readership as well as the existing readership for cookery columns. By the third year of the column, it had won every British prize for food journalism at least twice, and in 1985 and again in 1987, he was commended in the British Press Awards, the equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize. During his time on The Observer he introduced the nouvelle cuisine chefs of France to the British public, and many informed people felt that his journalism had an influence on the changing eating habits of the country.