"The Insatiable Critic" Gael Greene to lecture at Fairfield University


The saucy culinary writer Gael Greene will lecture at Fairfield University on Monday, March 24 at 8 p.m. The lecture is co-sponsored by Moffly Publications, Westport Magazine with Publisher Gabriella Mays' invaluable participation and Open VISIONS Forum of University College. It will be held at the Quick Center for the Arts. Dr. Philip Eliasoph, director of OVF will moderate and will be joined by Fairfield County resident Sissy Biggers, a well-known television personality and popular "foodie." Tickets are $45.

In her role as restaurant critic for New York Magazine from 1968 to 2002, Detroit-born Greene helped change the way New Yorkers - and many Americans - think about food. It has been said that a scholarly anthropologist could trace the evolution of New York restaurants on a timeline that would reflect Greene's passions and taste over 30 years. From Le Pavillon to nouvelle cuisine to couturier pizzas, pastas and hot fudge sundaes, to more healthful eating, Greene's delicate palate and her voracious appetite for detail fuse to form her well-known discriminating opinions. Whether she's talking about Nantucket Bay scallops cruda or smoked prime rib on brown butcher paper, her whimsical descriptions of dishes leave one's mouth watering in the most satisfying way.

Biggers, known to many as host of the Food Network's "Ready Set Cook!," appreciates Greene's style, flare and astute observations and said recently, "Ms. Greene may be insatiable, but foodies are always sated by her insights and adventures."

With Greene's pervasive popularity evident, local Fairfield County establishments - Conte's Market and Grill and Magnolia Flowers and Events in Westport - joined with Harry's Wine and Liquor Market in Fairfield as co-sponsors of Greene's visit.

Greene's online blog, BITE: My Journal, is a new outlet for her writing and a vehicle for her continued enthusiasm and wit. In her latest entry, she announces a new restaurant discovery with unabashed delight, "... even after 40 years reviewing restaurants I still get up every morning full of hope that I will discover a glorious dish, a great new chef. And here he is..."

And, as if BITE were not enough to keep her active, Greene has a brand new newsletter, FORK PLAY.

Titles of several early articles, were provocative and they delivered: "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Ice Cream But Were Too Fat To Ask," "The Mafia Guide to Dining Out" and "Nobody Knows the Truffles I've Seen." In more recent years her annual roundup of New York City's dining favorites, "Ask Gael," was a gourmand's collectible for many years and she continues to write a weekly "Ask Gael" column for New York Magazine.

As co-founder with James Beard and a continuing force behind Citymeals-on-Wheels (CMOW), Board Chair Greene has made a significant impact on the city of New York. Rallying food-world peers to make a commitment to help feed the city's homebound elderly, she has devoted as many hours to fund-raising in recent years as she does to writing. CMOW, the largest public/private partnership in the country, has raised $150 million in its twenty-four-year history to help feed the city's frail elderly shut-ins for a total of 30 million meals.

For her work with CMOW, Greene has received numerous awards and was honored as the Humanitarian of the Year (l992) by the James Beard Foundation. She is the winner of the International Association of Cooking Professionals magazine writing award, 2000, and a Silver Spoon from Food Arts magazine.

Greene's memoir, "Insatiable: Tales from a Life of Delicious Excess" was published April 2006. Earlier non-fiction books include "Delicious Sex: A Gourmet Guide for Women and the Men Who Want to Love Them Better" and "BITE: A New York Restaurant Strategy." Her two novels "Blue skies, No Candy" and "Doctor Love" were NY Times best sellers.

Tickets are $45 and are available online at the Open VISIONS Forum website, www.fairfield.edu/openvisions or by calling the Quick Center Box Office at (203) 254-4010; toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396.

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Media Contact: Joan Grant, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950, jgrant@fairfield.edu

Posted on March 17, 2008

Vol. 40, No. 207