In the days when the term “foodie” was a mere misspeak, when the average American had never heard of Virginia persimmons or sunchokes or foraged fiddleheads, Raymond Sokolov was writing about all the fresh, local things that America’s burgeoning gourmand culture now embraces. After graduating from Harvard University, Sokolov wrote for New York Times, which made him restaurant critic and food editor in 1973. He also wrote the dining column for The Wall Street Journal from 2006 to 2010. His biggest impact on food writing, however, was not his restaurant reviews but his column “A Matter of Taste” for the American Museum of Natural History’s magazine Natural History. “A Matter of Taste” concerned not just the taste of food but the culture and and traditions that surround it, and helped revitalize interest in American regional foodways. Sokolov currently lives in New York City with his wife Johanna Hecht, a retired art curator.