Jenn Harris is named L.A. Times Food columnist
The following announcement was sent on behalf of Alice Short, acting Food editor.
We are delighted… no… we are elated to announce that Jenn Harris is our newest Food columnist.
Harris has worked at The Times for more than 10 years, starting as a writer and producer in the feature sections, with assignments ranging from an analysis of political style to camping in the Israeli desert. She joined the Food section full time in 2012, leading many of the team’s digital initiatives. She served as deputy Food editor from February 2014 to August 2018 and was acting Food editor for several months. For the last two years, Harris has been senior food writer and a video host and producer.
She has introduced our readers to myriad food phenomena, including the $500 milkshake. Harris has profiled some of the city’s top chefs and shared the secrets of L.A. speakeasies. She’s surfed the crowds at Coachella to report on gifting suites and fancy food pop-ups and toured bakeries with Martha Stewart. She has written about restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley, the San Fernando Valley, Beverly Hills and Little Saigon (for starters), and many of us will never forget the mind-boggling “18 Bowls of Pasta in 18 Hours.”
Were there doughnuts? Of course. (And cronuts as well.) In addition, Harris has reported on cocktails (and designer ice), barbecue and, yes, the Fried Chicken Industrial Complex of Southern California.
Harris helped pioneer the Food section’s video storytelling, and her “Bucket List” video series has covered Nashville hot chicken, fried chicken sandwiches, Taiwanese fried chicken and super crispy fried chicken. She developed two other video series, “I Can Make That” and the current “What We’re Into,” with reports on topics like Cambodian street food, tarte tatin and crème brûlée cookies.
Harris has reported on the intersection of food and television and vertical farming. In addition, in the last 12 months, she has thrown herself into coverage of pandemic-related food news: assistance for essential workers, the whiplash of restaurant openings and closings, Black-owned food businesses, restaurant rents and restaurateur pivots, and the tyranny of rising delivery fees.
She’s an in-demand speaker, TV guest and host of Food events, and she’s a tastemaker who suggests and pulls in chefs for those events. In addition, Harris drives conversations around restaurant and food trends, diversity and social media.
In her new role, Harris will help the Food editor with assigning, planning and long-term vision, and she will work with the Food team to develop strategies for new social media platforms.
A lifelong Angeleno, Harris has a bachelor’s degree in literary journalism from UC Irvine and a master’s in online journalism from USC.