Food Arts Staff / December 2010
That's how his friends, his co-workers, his colleagues in the hospitality industry knew Michael Batterberry. Herewith a portfolio of remembrances of and appreciations for Michael, the founding editor and publisher of Food Arts, who passed away on July 28, 2010.
Michael Batterberry was one of America's most influential writers on food and restaurants. He created two milestone national food magazines: Food Arts (1988)—the award-winning publication for the restaurant and hotel industries published by M. Shanken Communications—and Food & Wine (1978), a leading consumer publication.
"Michael played a key role in the advancement of America's culinary culture," said Marvin R. Shanken, who brought Food Arts magazine into the M. Shanken Communications group in 1989. "Thanks to his vast knowledge and creativity, his legacy in the food world will live on for generations to come."
In May, the Batterberrys—Michael and his wife, Ariane, co-founder of both Food & Wine and Food Arts, received the James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award for 2010, a public affirmation of their major role in nurturing and shaping the surging growth of the American food, restaurant, and hospitality universe (see Beard Awards videos on FoodArts.com).
Batterberry was born April 8, 1932, in England, where he lived until he was about 7, when he and his family moved to Cincinnati, where his father was a Procter & Gamble executive. He led a picaresque life before beginning his career in food journalism; he was a cabaret singer in Rome, a sketch artist for the Paris Review, and worked on numerous Italian films. At various times he also lived in France and Venezuela, where he built floats for Carnivale and designed an Alpha Romeo showroom. Singly or with Ariane, he wrote 18 books on food, art, and social history. Their On the Town in New York (1973) was long the standard history of dining in the city. It was updated and reissued in 1999.