The End Of Bittman’s “The Minimalist”

Mark Bittman Quits Popular NY Times Column To Advocate For Eaters’ Rights

Posted by on Jan 28

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Long-time columnist for the New York Times Mark Bittman has officially announced the cessation of "The Minimalist," a column that captured Bittman's insights into world travel, exotic cuisine, cooking myths, and inventive techniques, all with a generous helping of his curmudgeonly (and hilarious) dry wit. But he's not laying down his pen for keeps just yet.

A highly popular feature in the Dining section among NY Times readers, "The Minimalist" began in 1997, launching Bittman's career as a respected food writer. Bittman acknowledged this in his farewell column, adding, "In 1998, I began a decade of intense travel. I cooked with chefs, with grandmothers (a privilege, almost always), with granddaughters, with whole families, with celebrities, with friends and with colleagues. And I discovered that you never cook with someone else without learning something.

"In every case, there’s a two-way transfer of knowledge. If they know less than you do, you grow from teaching. If more, of course, you grow from learning."

The knowledge Bittman has acquired over the years has led him to channel his passion for writing in a different direction. He will be writing for the NY Times' online news sections as an opinion blogger in the Op-Ed section, advocating mainly for "eaters' rights."

Here's another excerpt from his farewell column:

"My growing conviction that the meat-heavy American diet and our increasing dependence on prepared and processed foods is detrimental not only to our personal health but to that of the planet has had an impact on my life and on that of the column. You can see this in dishes like stir-fried lettuce with shrimp, chickpea tagine with chicken, a number of bean dishes and the dozens of other meatless or less-meat recipes that have become dominant in the last five years.

Part of my reasoning in going to the opinion section is to advocate, essentially, for eaters’ rights. But the response of good cooks, and those of us who write about cooking, must be to continue to look for ways to bring real food to all of our tables."

Bittman will begin his new blog next week. He'll also be contributing to the Times Magazine, adding new recipes every Sunday beginning in March.

Source:  Forbes.com

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