Alan Barnett
Happy birthday to legendary food critic Gael Greene, who celebrated her 80th Monday night at Stella 34 Trattoria.
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Celebrating 80 Years

Beverly Stephen - December 19th, 2013

Happy birthday to legendary food critic Gael Greene, who celebrated her 80th Monday night at Stella 34 Trattoria.

Tout le food monde in New York City were on hand to roast and toast the honoree for her clever writing, astute reviews, and the accomplishment of founding with James Beard in 1981 the wildly successfully Citymeals-on-Wheels charity which feeds the homebound elderly on weekends. The organization now underwrites two million meals annually and has raised over $19 million this year alone. Well-wishers were asked not to even think of gifts like “a crocodile clutch or recycled cologne” but rather to make a contribution to Citymeals.

Chefs, restaurateurs, journalists, publicists, and industry bigwigs in attendance included Daniel Boulud, Jacques Torres, Drew Nieporent, Nick Valenti, Steve Hansen, Buzzy O’Keeffe, Glenn Collins, Tim and Nina Zagat, Eddie Schoenfeld, Karen Page and Andrew Dornenberg, Alain and Arlene Feltman Sailhac, André Soltner, Michael Whiteman and Rozanne Gold, and on and on.

“I don’t know how this happened so quickly,” said the birthday girl. “One evening I was 40 and disco dancing and all the men were 26 and next…this frightening number.” To make it less frightening, two chocolate cakes—each with 40 candles—marked the occasion.

Greene, a Food Arts Silver Spoon winner and contributing authority, began her career at the New York Post, then reviewed restaurants as the “insatiable critic” for New York magazine for 40 years. She now continues her work on insatiablecritic.com. She has also written seven books, including two erotic novels.