EXPIRED: 07/28/10 – Michael Batterberry, 78, was a journalist who, with his wife, founded Food & Wine magazine in 1978, and almost singlehandedly changed the way us commoners approached, well, food… and wine!
He was near 40 by this time so you might be wondering what he did before then. Oddly enough, he had little to do with food. He was a painter in Paris. He was a singer in Rome. He was an interior designer in Venezuela. He wrote books on art history – 18 of them, actually.
Then he met Ariane Ruskin in 1968 and he moved to New York to pursue her. They courted by dining out. Food. Wine. Love. It begat a partnership that lasted more than 40 years.
The lovebirds wrote about the restaurants they dined in and developed a collection of essays they called The International Review of Food and Wine in the early 1970s. But without enough money to make a go of it they were out of luck — until Hugh Hefner published a prototype in Playboy magazine and furnished startup money.
Ahh – success!
Batterberry sold Food & Wine after only 2 years, but the tone of the publication, including easy shopping lists, menus for one, and step-by-step cooking instructions, became a staple of culinary magazines and TV programs ever since.
In 1988, the couple launched Food Arts, a more stylish trade rag for hotels and restaurants. The magazine focuses on dining trends, news hotspots and chefs to keep an eye on. Batterberry was Food Arts’ editor until up his death.
Food. Wine. Love. Death.
Not necessarily in that order.