Fred Ferretti, Journalist Turned Food Writer, Dies at 90


In 1971, at the premiere of Norman Lear’s ‘All in the Family’, Mr. Ferretti, briefly in the role of television critic, wrote: “Tonight the Columbia Broadcasting System Television Network will find out if Americans think bigotry and racism are the main elements of a sitcom, are funny. He didn’t. The racial and ethnic epithets thrown around by Carroll O’Connor’s Archie Bunker, he wrote, “don’t so much cause laughter as they force embarrassed, semi-amused gasps”.

In addition to Gourmet, he has contributed to Travel & Leisure, Food & Wine and Food Arts magazines and has written a weekly column, “Travels With Fred”, for the Copley News Service.

In 1989, members of Entree, a travel and food newsletter, voted Mr. Ferretti “America’s Best Food Writer.”

For all the serious subjects he tackled, he could sometimes betray an irrepressible breech.

In 1972, when New York courts were considering banning the film “Deep Throat” as obscene, Arthur Gelb, the Times Metropolitan Editor at the time, assembled a select, if slightly sheepish, group of journalists to go to a nearby pornographic theater to judge. the movie for themselves.

“Less than halfway through the movie,” Mr. Gelb recalled in his book “City Room” (2003), “the theater loudspeaker sounded, ‘Mr. Arthur Gelb, metropolitan editor of The New York Times, is wanted in his office. I later learned that it was Fred Ferretti who had mischievously telephoned the director of the cinema. ‘Mr. Gelb is hard of hearing, Fred told him, so be sure to beep him nicely and loudly.


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