Lara Rabinovitch, PhD (NYU 2012), is a specialist in food culture and immigrant history. She works for Google, writing about new restaurants in Los Angeles for Zagat and Google Maps, and freelances for other media outlets like California Sunday (here's my story on the underground chefs of South LA).
She was Consulting Producer for "City of Gold," the 2016 Sundance/IFC documentary about Jonathan Gold. (Hear me drive down Pico with Jonathan on the podcast PrinceSt.)
Lara currently teaches Jewish history at Occidental College and food culture courses at the Skirball Cultural Center (registering now: Flavors of Mexico), where she also curates food programming like this upcoming event with Mexican-American chef Pati Jinich (learn about her Mexican Jewish heritage -- aka guacamole with gribenes -- in Lara's Jewish Journal interview).
From 2013-2015 she was the Food Editor for GOOD magazine, where, for example, she went soul searching with Roy Choi and reported on the hummus diplomacy of Assaf Granit.
She regularly writes for the Los Angeles Times, for example, on the only organic produce shop in South LA, a 70 year-old Greek food shop, and Chinese New Year dumplings. She has also written about street food around the world for VICE and Lucky Peach.
She has talked about garbage with Massimo Bottura and everything bagels with Chrissy Teigen's cookbook co-author. She's kibitzed about kasha with Mark Bittman for HEEB magazine, interviewed Martha Stewart and Anthony Bourdain for Time Out New York, opined for Tablet magazine on the importance of her correction to The New York Times' Theodore Bikel obit, argued for the acceptance of Canadian seal-hunting in meatpaper, penned South California farmers' markets reports for KCET Los Angeles, and historicized one of Canada's last remaining Jewish dairy restaurants for Edible Toronto.
She is also working on a book about pastrami and 'Little Rumania' in early 20th century NYC. Listen to her wax poetic about Mexican Pastrami in LA on KCRW's "GOOD FOOD" with Evan Kleiman.
Her first book, Choosing Yiddish: New Frontiers of Language and Culture (Wayne State Press, 2012), is an edited volume with 25 essays covering topics such as Yiddish hip hop, a nineteenth century "Hasidic Slasher," Yiddish in Israel, film melodrama, and historic Jewish newspapers in Buenos Aires, Paris, and New York.
Other academic works of hers explore Gypsy Jews in historic Lower Manhattan and Jewish community cookbooks in postwar America.
She co-founded and edited the McGill University journal CuiZine: The Journal of Canadian Food Cultures / Revue des cultures culinaires au canada. In 2009, the journal published her interview with Eiran Harris on Montreal smoked meat.
Her research on immigration to the United States also helped launch the award-winning human rights game, "America 2049," produced by Breakthrough TV.
Born in Strasbourg, France, and raised in Montreal and Toronto, Lara now lives in Los Angeles after having lived in New York for nearly a decade.
For Lara's latest, follow her @LaraEats and subscribe to her tinyletter.
[photo by Shauna Nep]