Fame & Fortune:
Food guru dedicates himself to passion, not success
people work at a job; others "have a career." Celebrity
foodie David Rosengarten lives out his passion for food. Rosengarten,
former host co-host of "In Food Today" with the former
first lady of New York, Donna Hanover, is popular because he actually
He does not spend his airtime or writing time rhapsodizing to
the public about things they can never do, eat, buy or see. His
philosophy has certainly paid off. His previous show, "Taste,"
ran for eight years, and then there are his extensive writings such
Wine with Fish: The New Art of Matching Wine with Food," The
Dean & DeLuca Cookbook" and "Taste,"
which won the IACP/Julia Child Cookbook Award for Best International
Cookbook of 1999. What's more, he won the Versailles Award in France
for Best Cookbook Based on a TV Show, and was associate editor for
"A Dictionary of American Wines" as well as hundreds of
articles for "Gourmet" magazine and other lifestyle and
A New York City resident, he teaches classes, travels, writes and lectures on his favorite topics: food and wine. He talked to Bankrate about food, growing up -- and money.
What are your latest projects?
David Rosengarten: Two
things take up most of my time. The first is my newsletter, "The
Rosengarten Report." Available at davidrosengarten.com,
it's crammed with small type and information. It's subtitled, the
"Foods and Wines That Make Me Swoon." It's what I was
working on this morning. It's totally geared toward what people
can get nationally. Also, subscribers get a card, with a serial
number that gets them all kinds of things. For instance, I tried
more than 100 kinds of salmon and found three that were the best.
Two companies were only wholesalers; they won't sell to the public.
My members can buy it, at wholesale prices. Here's another example:
Tetsuya, a restaurant in Australia, is considered the most difficult
in the world for getting reservations. My members can get a table
just by calling. I don't accept advertising; I'm not beholden to
anyone. Godiva (chocolates) did very poorly in our testing, for
Who helps you with that?
David Rosengarten: I
have two partners, T.J. Robinson and Phil Tevero. We have created
Minds on Fire Ltd. Not only does that name suggest creative ideas,
but we also will be marketing cooking equipment. I hope to market
many things; I have an alliance with the man who invented the George
Foreman grill. We are discussing one of his latest inventions with
Home Shopping Network. I also will be marketing imported copper
pots from Italy. Everything on my newsletter is highly personal
-- it's what makes me swoon. It's what "Martha Stewart Living"
pretends to do. One day, it's possible that I will do a magazine,
but so far, I haven't had a lot of publicity.
see a proliferation of gourmet cheese shops popping up; is that a result of the
high protein approach of the Atkins diet, or affordable luxury, or what?
David Rosengarten: The
Atkins diet? Maybe. I didn't think about that. Food now comes in
waves in America, like fashion. There is a burgeoning of simple