Jonathan Gold, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times restaurant critic who richly chronicled the city’s vast culinary and cultural landscape, died on July 21 at the age of 57. As many have noted in recent days, Gold had a unique gift for making a sprawling metropolis feel like a community. This Saturday, July 28, in honor of what would have been Gold’s 58th birthday, the community will come together for a special tribute with several buildings and landmarks around town displaying messages and lighting up with gold inspired by “the Belly of Los Angeles”.
The Los Angeles Times will light a tribute to Gold on its new building in El Segundo as the sun sets on Saturday. After sundown, landmarks including L.A. City Hall tower, the Wilshire Grand Center, The Broad, US Bank Tower, Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain in Grand Park, Natural History Museum, pylons at LAX and Pacific Wheel on the Santa Monica Pier will also be illuminated for the occasion. Additional venues and events, including The Wiltern, the Ford Theatres, The Theatre at Ace Hotel, Chinatown Summer Nights and the Fairplex in Pomona will also display messages and projections in Gold’s honor, with more to be confirmed and all welcome to participate.
Gold died of pancreatic cancer last Saturday after being diagnosed in early July. He and his wife, Times arts and entertainment editor Laurie Ochoa, have two children, 23-year-old Isabel and 15-year-old Leon. The Gold-Ochoa family asks that, in lieu of flowers, those wishing to honor Gold’s life consider supporting any of these nonprofit organizations: L.A. Regional Food Bank, Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research, Heal the Bay or Al Otro Lado. Friends of the Gold-Ochoa family have also created a GoFundMe campaign to assist them with immediate expenses.
Another public event celebrating his life, which will include an opportunity for the community to gather together, is being planned for Sunday, August 26. The location and details will be announced soon.
The Los Angeles Times thanks the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Offices of L.A. County Supervisors Hilda L. Solis and Sheila Kuehl, KCRW, Central City Association, Grand Park and The Music Center, Live Nation, Los Angeles Chinatown BID, Los Angeles World Airports, OUE Ltd., Pacific Park and all of the participating organizations for this special tribute to the city’s beloved food critic, Jonathan Gold. The community is encouraged to share photos of the tribute using #LAGold.