Although Mark Bittman never formally trained as a chef, his pursuits as a curious and tenacious foodie have made him a casual culinary master. His weekly New York Times food column, The Minimalist, meshes accessible and inexpensive ingredients with "anyone-can" cooking techniques to produce exceedingly delicious dishes. Bittman's funny, friendly attitude and trademark informal approach to food-craft extend to his blockbuster TV programs (which retain delays and mishaps that other producers would edit out), his blog, Bitten, and ambitious cookbooks, like How to Cook Everything and The Best Recipes in the World.
After a decade as the "Minimalist," Bittman has emerged a respected spokesperson on all things edible: He's concerned about the ecological and health impacts of our modern diet, which he characterizes as overwhelmingly meat-centered and hooked on fast food. His criticism has the world listening: His revolutionary How to Cook Everything Vegetarian (sequel to How to Cook Everything), is a bestseller, and his memorable talk at the 2007 EG Conference (available now on TED.com) delivered a stinging condemnation of the way we eat now. A subsequent New York Times article pursued the same argument.
Bittman's newest book, Food Matters, explores the link between our eating habits and the environment, offering an accessible plan for a planet-friendly diet.