Arthur Schwartz: The Food Maven Arthur Schwartz: The Food Maven
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Who is The Food Maven?

Arthur's Country Kitchen
This is me in my Connecticut kitchen. © Photo Don Heiny

The New York Times Magazine called Arthur Schwartz "a walking Google of food and restaurant knowledge." As the restaurant critic and executive food editor of the New York Daily News, which he was for 18 years, he was called The Schwartz Who Ate New York. Nowadays he is best known as The Food Maven, the name of his website. Whatever the sobriquet, he is acknowledged as one of the country's foremost experts on food, cooking, culinary history, restaurants, and restaurant history.

Over the 40 years of his career, he has written six award-winning cookbooks, including his last, "Jewish Home Cooking: Yiddish Recipes Revisited," which was named best American-subject cookbook by the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) and was nominated for both a James Beard book award and the Sophie Brody Medal of the American Library Association for its contribution to Yiddish literature.

In 2005, "Arthur Schwartz's New York City Food: An Opinionated History with Legendary Recipes" was named both Cookbook of the Year and best book on an American subject by the IACP. It was also nominated for a James Beard book award.

His previous book, "Naples at Table: Cooking in Campania," not only hit the Los Angeles Times "Hot List," the nation's only cookbook bestseller list, and won awards, but made Schwartz the acknowledged U.S. expert on the cuisines of the Italian south. The Italy-America Chamber of Commerce and the region of Campania honored him as such at a gala dinner, and he has been honored several times, including at New York City's City Hall, for his contributions to the Italian-American community of his city. He has a cooking school in Paestum, Italy, just south of the Amalfi Coast, where he conducts weeklong classes that also include cultural touring. His next book, "The Southern Italian Table: Authentic Tastes from Traditional Kitchens," will be published by Clarkson Potter on October 20, 2009.

His other books are: "Cooking In A Small Kitchen" (Little Brown, 1979), "What To Cook When You Think There's Nothing In The House To Eat" (HarperCollins, 1992), and the best-selling paperback, "Soup Suppers" (HarperCollins, 1994), which contains more than 100 recipes for main-course soups, with accompaniments and desserts to round out the menu.

He is also the author of numerous articles for a wide range of magazines. Schwartz also teaches both hands-on and demonstration cooking classes at all the major venues in New York City, on Long Island, and in New Jersey and Connecticut. He has been a visiting lecturer in Southern Italian cooking at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, and a lecturer on food writing and editing at the Culinary Institute of America in Greystone, California. He has also lectured at New York University, New York City Technical College, and at the Institute for Culinary Education (ICE).

Although he writes and teaches extensively, Schwartz may be best known as a radio personality. For 13 years, he broadcast daily on WOR radio, one of New York's premiere talk stations, and in that capacity received the IACP's Award of Excellence in Electronic Media. He was also named Cooking Teacher of the Year by the New York Association of Culinary Professionals. He left the station in 2004 to pursue other interests.

You might say Schwartz was born with a wooden spoon in his mouth. His paternal grandfather was first a professional chef, then a food manufacturer, then a curmudgeonly waiter in a Jewish dairy restaurant. His maternal grandmother's home cooking was the envy and despair of the neighbors. His father could spend an entire day shopping for just the right ingredients for one dinner. In short, he grew up in a food-obsessed Brooklyn family that went, and still goes, to any length for a good meal.

As for TV, he was the food critic on Fox network's (WNYW-TV) local morning show, Good Day New York, and he has appeared on Martha Stewart's national broadcast, appeared many times as a guest on the Food Network, on the Today show, Good Morning America, Live With Regis, as well as many local morning shows. At one time, he was the national spokesman for the National Dairy Council. He continues to make frequent TV appearances on PBS and the Food Network. He produced and appeared in a documentary on New York hot dogs for Japanese public television, was featured in a documentary on New York street food, and is currently participating in a documentary on how the food of immigrants changes in America, and one on the history and lore of the bagel.

Schwartz is now in demand as a restaurant consultant and lecturer. He has lectured extensively before library and museum audiences, including the Brooklyn Museum, the Museum of the City of New York, the Brooklyn Public Library, the Port Washington, N.Y., Greenwich, Conn., and Spring Lake, N.J. public libraries, the 92nd St. Y, and at private clubs, including the Princeton and Columbia Clubs, the Yale Club and the very social Century Club. He has also lectured at metro New York synagogues, as well as at events benefiting many charities, including Jewish Federation, Hadassah, National Council of Jewish Women, Rotary Clubs, and Chambers of Commerce. His lecturing style is casual and entertaining. Indeed, San Francisco radio personality Gene Burns said, "Schwartz is actually a stand-up comic, not the informative lecturer he pretends to be."

He is listed in Marquis Who's Who in America.

Arthur Schwartz's Resume


Articles About The Food Maven:

Icon Arthur Ave.: Food Guru Lives la Dolce Vita in Brooklyn
By Larry Getlen - New York Post, 12/10/09
Icon A Visit with Arthur Schwartz
By Kate McDonough -
Icon Southern Italian Cooking
Interview by Kate McDonough -
Icon Jewish Home Cooking
Interview by Kate McDonough -
Icon When One Kitchen Won't Due
New York Times - Real Estate - Audio 8/17/05
Icon Start Spreading the Scmeer
By Sylvia Carter - Newsday 12/8/04
Icon History to Devout (Recipes Too)
By Kim Severson - The New York Times 12/6/04
Icon New York Illustrated: Books to Stuff in Those Christmas Stockings
By Michael Pollack - The New York Times 12/5/04
Icon My Pick - The Year's Best Book
By Sue Perkins - Commuter Week 11/24/04
Icon Culinary Celeb on a New Course
By Patricia Mack - Bergen Record 11/24/04
Icon Talk Show Host (Subject, Food) Opens His Telephone Lines and His Heart
By Molly O'Neill - The New York Times 2/5/92
Icon Talking Cooking and Fielding Questions
By Susan Pearsall - The New York Times 1/17/99
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