It was with great sadness that I just learned of Michael Batterberry's very recent death. Michael Batterberry was an early influence in my evolving view of food experience and good food. My first encounter with Michael was when he started up Food and Wine Magazine. I would devour that early food publication and loved to read Michael's editorials often written with his wife, Ariane. After Michael and Ariane sold Food and Wine to American Express, the publication declined for me, but as a food periodical, I kept reading it.
Later, Michael And Ariane started Food Arts, a publication for the food industry. I was also an avid follower of this publication and Michael's practical, sometimes philosophical editorials. Michael knew the food scene well, how the trends in cuisine were evolving and who the players were. He loved the experience of good food, a l'ancienne, traditional or nouveau. Food Arts also kept up with all of the openings and closings of significant restaurants around the United States, one way for me to keep abreast.
I was introduced to Michael and Ariane, many years ago, when I was a house guest of my good friends, Peter and Amy Meltzer, at their country house in Wainscott on Long Island. Michael and Ariane were there simultaneously. We enjoyed speaking about our common interests of good food, and travel experiences eating our way through the many countries we both had visited. Michael was such an elegant, well spoken and erudite man, such a pleasure to be with. Although we were not close, his passing left a hole in my world and I am sure for many of his admirers, they felt a great loss.