Alice Joyce Kahn (born 1943) is an American nurse practitioner and humorist who popularized the slang word "yuppie", describing young urban professionals, and also the term "Gourmet Ghetto", naming an influential retail neighborhood of Berkeley, California. Kahn was a regular contributor to East Bay Express , a columnist at the San Francisco Chronicle , and a syndicated columnist at the Los Angeles Times . She has also written for Mother Jones magazine and the San Jose Mercury News . A self-professed "sit-down comic" noted for her "Jewish-American wit", her understated brand of humor has been compared to that of Erma Bombeck. The Chicago Reader commented on her liberal political viewpoint, writing that she was "Joan Rivers with a social conscience."
Kahn was born Alice Joyce Nelson and raised in West Side, Chicago, in the Lawndale neighborhood. Her outgoing, debonair father was Herman Nelson, and her mother was the former Idelle Avonovitch, a comparatively sheltered young woman from a shtetl in the Suwałki Region of Poland. Kahn had one older sister named Myrna Lou Nelson. Kahn's parents were Orthodox Jews but they advised their girls to follow more modern practices.She attended Senn High School, where she met Edward Paul Kahn, her future husband. She enrolled in 1961 at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. After two years, she changed to Columbia University in New York, earning a degree in writing in 1965. Edward said he was heading west to UC Berkeley for graduate studies in economics, and she joined him in Berkeley, enrolling at San Francisco State to earn a teaching credential. They married in August 1966.
Kahn taught high school English for three years in San Lorenzo. In 1969, she quit in advance of being laid off because of school district downsizing. She started working at the Berkeley Free Clinic, and was encouraged to become a nurse.In 1973 she enrolled at California State University, Hayward, to become a registered nurse, working with the Alameda County Public Health Department. She returned to SF State to get a nurse practitioner degree in 1976, and took a position at a medical group in Berkeley.
Kahn wrote an article using the "Gourmet Ghetto" moniker – next door to Cocolat and half a block from Chez Panisse".to describe the influential retail neighborhood of Berkeley previously called North Berkeley. The area was known as a hotbed for fine foods beginning in the 1970s because it held the first Peet's Coffee location, the Cheese Board Collective, a Berkeley Food Co-op grocery store, Chez Panisse restaurant, and other specialty food shops. In 1975, the Cheese Board began selling fresh-baked bread, bringing more customers to the neighborhood. Kahn shopped at the Cheese Board, and she wrote an article that popularized the term "Gourmet Ghetto". Various origin stories exist for the term "gourmet ghetto": Kahn said that she did not coin the term. One apocryphal story is that columnist Herb Caen used the term, but if so, he did not write it down. Cheese Board employee–co-owner L. John Harris remembers that a fellow collectivist named Darryl Henriques used "gourmet ghetto" in a comedy routine he delivered with his street theater troupe East Bay Sharks at The Freight and Salvage in the 1970s; Harris guesses that Kahn heard Henriques use the term before she used it herself in her writings. (Henriques later moved to Los Angeles to act in comedies, and played a gun salesman in the 1995 film Jumanji .) By 1980 the nickname was widely established: writer and editor Sandra Rosenzweig wrote about Northern California restaurants for Clay Felker's New West magazine based in Los Angeles, saying that Rosenthal's deli was "Located in the heart of Berkeley's gourmet ghetto
In early 1983, Kahn began writing an article about young urban professionals named Dirk and Brie, a satirical faux-sociological study. She coined the word "yuppie" for the article, basing it on the word "yups" appearing in the Chicago Reader , and on a New Yorker magazine cartoon by Roz Chast titled "Attack of the Young Professionals!", published in April 1983. She was unaware the word yuppie had been used earlier.She published her satirical piece in the East Bay Express on June 10, 1983, about ten weeks after Bob Greene put the word in his Chicago Tribune column on March 23. Kahn's piece was a more thorough description, more definitive, and after it was reprinted by other publications, it served to popularize the term to a greater degree.
After accepting the offer of a free concert ticket to see the Grateful Dead at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, Kahn reviewed their July 1984 concert, writing in the East Bay Express how she pictured Jerry Garcia as the "hippie abominable snowman".Garcia liked her review and asked Kahn to come to his house in San Rafael to interview him, at the same time refusing an interview request from the Today show. Kahn arrived to find Garcia very high on some substance (a condition she easily recognized from her nurse training) and she thought he would be a terrible interview subject. He was quite coherent, however, and Kahn recorded the interview on cassette tape, with Garcia talking about his childhood and his passion for music. Kahn edited the interview and published the piece in West magazine at the end of 1984: "Jerry Garcia and the Call of the Weird". Kahn received $1200 from West but she gave almost all of it to Dennis McNally, the publicist of the Grateful Dead, because she had accidentally damaged his car with her own as she left Garcia's house. Kahn's piece was reprinted several times, appearing in books about Garcia and the Grateful Dead. In 2019, the cassette tape was digitized for streaming online so that fans could hear the full interview for the first time.
Kahn lives in the Berkeley Hills with her husband, Edward P. Kahn, PhD., an economist in the field of energy sources and consumption. They have two daughters, Emma and Hannah.
Yuppie, short for "young urban professional" or "young upwardly-mobile professional", is a term coined in the early 1980s for a young professional person working in a city. The term is first attested in 1980, when it was used as a fairly neutral demographic label, but by the mid-to-late 1980s, when a "yuppie backlash" developed due to concerns over issues such as gentrification, some writers began using the term pejoratively.
Alice Louise Waters is an American chef, restaurateur, activist and author. She is the owner of Chez Panisse, a Berkeley, California restaurant famous for its organic, locally grown ingredients and for pioneering California cuisine, which she opened in 1971.
California cuisine is a food movement that originated in California. The cuisine focuses on dishes that are driven by local and sustainable ingredients with an attention to seasonality and an emphasis on the bounty of the region.
Chez Panisse is a Berkeley, California, restaurant, known as one of the inspirations for the style of cooking known as California cuisine. Restaurateur, author and food activist Alice Waters opened Chez Panisse in 1971 with film producer Paul Aratow, then professor of comparative literature at the University of California, Berkeley. The restaurant emphasises ingredients rather than technique and has developed a supply network of direct relationships with local farmers, ranchers and dairies.
Eleanor Antin is an American performance artist, film-maker, installation artist, conceptual artist and feminist artist. Landmarks, the public art program of The University of Texas at Austin, exhibited The Little Match Girl Ballet (1975) and archived an essay dedicated to Antin and her work on their website
Ruth Reichl, is an American chef, food writer, co-producer of PBS's Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie, culinary editor for the Modern Library, host of PBS's Gourmet's Adventures With Ruth, and the last editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine. She has written critically acclaimed, best-selling memoirs: Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table, Comfort Me with Apples: More Adventures at the Table, Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise and Not Becoming My Mother. In 2009, she published Gourmet Today a 1,008 page cookbook containing over 1,000 recipes. She published her first novel, Delicious! in 2014, and, in 2015, published My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life, a memoir of recipes prepared in the year following the shuttering of Gourmet.
California-style pizza is a style of single-serving pizza that combines New York and Italian thin crust with toppings from the California cuisine cooking style. Its invention is generally attributed to chef Ed LaDou, and Chez Panisse, in Berkeley, California. Wolfgang Puck, after meeting LaDou, popularized the style of pizza in the rest of the country. It is served in many California Cuisine restaurants. Such restaurant chains as California Pizza Kitchen, Round Table Pizza, Extreme Pizza, and Sammy's Woodfired Pizza are four major pizza franchises associated with California-style pizza.
The Cheese Board Collective in Berkeley, California, comprises two worker-owned and -operated businesses: a cheese shop/bakery commonly referred to as "The Cheese Board", and a pizzeria known as "Cheese Board Pizza". Along with Peet's Coffee, the Cheese Board is known for its role in starting the North Shattuck neighborhood of Berkeley on its way to becoming famous as a culinary destination: the "Gourmet Ghetto". The Cheese Board brought a European focus on cheeses but also emphasized locally grown cheeses, a novel concept in the 1970s. The Cheese Board was closely connected with the restaurant Chez Panisse, helping to supply ingredients for the birth of California cuisine. The bakery brought the French baguette into vogue for Berkeley consumers, and helped spark a revolution in artisan bread.
A chocolate truffle is a type of chocolate confectionery, traditionally made with a chocolate ganache centre coated in chocolate, cocoa powder or chopped toasted nuts, usually in a spherical, conical, or curved shape.
Garcia Plays Dylan is an album composed of various live performances featuring Jerry Garcia playing covers of Bob Dylan songs. It is culled from performances from 1973–1995, and features Garcia playing with Grateful Dead, Legion of Mary, Jerry Garcia Band, and Garcia-Saunders. Garcia takes lead vocals on all tracks.
Barbara Tropp was an American chef and cookery writer who helped introduce Americans to Chinese cuisine.
The Gourmet Ghetto is a colloquial name for the business district of the North Berkeley neighborhood in the city of Berkeley, California, known as the birthplace of California cuisine. Other developments that can be traced to this neighborhood include specialty coffee, the farm-to-table and local food movements, the rise to popularity in the U.S. of chocolate truffles and baguettes, the popularization of the premium restaurant designed around an open kitchen, and the California pizza made with local produce. The business district, also known as Gourmet Gulch, is sometimes more formally referred to as "North Shattuck." After coalescing in the mid-1970s as a culinary destination, the neighborhood received its "Gourmet Ghetto" nickname in the late 1970s from comedian Darryl Henriques. Early, founding influences were Peet's Coffee, Chez Panisse and the Cheese Board Collective. Alice Medrich began her chain of Cocolat chocolate stores there.
Ed LaDou was an American pizza chef, who is credited with popularizing gourmet California-style pizzas. Ed LaDou was the first pizza chef at Wolfgang Puck's Spago restaurant in L.A. He also developed the first menu for the California Pizza Kitchen.
The 19th century saw Jews, like many other people, moving to the American West.
Heath Ceramics is an American company that designs, manufactures, and retails goods for tabletop and home, and is best known for handcrafted ceramic tableware and architectural tile in distinctive glazes.
Rebecca Camhi Fromer was an American playwright, historian and poet. Fromer co-founded the Judah L. Magnes Museum of Berkeley, California, in 1961 with her husband, Seymour Fromer. The museum, which is now called the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life and became part of the University of California, Berkeley in 2010, houses more than 15,000 Judaica artifacts and manuscripts, the third largest collection of its kind in the United States.
Mildred Howard is an African-American artist known primarily for her sculptural installation and mixed-media assemblages. Her work has been shown at galleries in Boston, Los Angeles and New York, internationally at venues in Berlin, Cairo, London, Paris, and Venice, and at institutions including the Oakland Museum of California, the de Young Museum, SFMOMA, the San Jose Museum of Art and the Museum of the African Diaspora.
Samin Nosrat is an American chef, TV host and food writer. She is a regular food columnist for The New York Times Magazine and has a Netflix docu-series based on her cookbook, Salt Fat Acid Heat.
Susan Duhan Felix is an American ceramic artist who lives in Berkeley, California. Felix is well known for creating ceramics using the technique of pit firing. Her art is heavily influenced by spiritual traditions, especially Judaism. J-Weekly reported that Felix “has works in the collections of some highly regarded Jewish institutions: the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia, the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, and the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow.”
Judy Gumbo Albert, known as Judy Gumbo, is a Canadian-American activist. She was an original member of the Yippies, the Youth International Party, a 1960s counter culture and satirical anti-war group, along with fellow radicals Anita and Abbie Hoffman, Nancy Kurshan and Jerry Rubin, and husband Stew Albert Judy received her nickname, "Gumbo," from Black Panther Party leader Eldridge Cleaver. Cleaver first referred to her as "Mrs. Stew," finding her refusal to use her husband's surname unacceptable. When Judy objected, Cleaver nicknamed her Gumbo, because "Gumbo goes with Stew."
Born in Chicago in 1943...