(AP) Jeanne Appleton Voltz, a food journalism pioneer, author of a dozen cookbooks and authority on Southern food, has died of pneumonia. She was 81.
The former food editor at The Miami Herald, Los Angeles Times, and Woman’s Day magazine died Tuesday at the University of North Carolina Hospitals.
Born in Collinsville, Ala., Voltz began a career in journalism in 1940 when few women were in the field.
She taught herself about food and cooking, and wrote a dozen cookbooks over the years, two of which won national awards from the James A. Beard Association: “The California Cookbook” in 1971 and “Barbecued Ribs, Smoked Butts and other Great Feeds” in 1986.
Voltz was food editor at The Miami Herald in the 1950s, created the food section of the Los Angeles Times in 1960, and became food editor at Woman’s Day in 1973.
“She proved her worth immediately,” recalled food writer Jean Anderson of Chapel Hill, who was with Family Circle magazine at the time. “She really brought Woman’s Day into the modern age — introduced more sophisticated recipes that were still approachable for those cooks who were not accomplished.”
Voltz was also praised for the way she tackled the then-unfashionable subject of Southern food in 1977.
“She didn’t approach it in that folksy, homey way. She approached it as a valid cuisine,” said Damon Lee Fowler, vice president of the Southern Foodways Alliance.
Voltz was a founding member of the New York chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, a professional organization for women in food-related careers. She was its president in 1985, when the group went international.
Voltz is survived by two children, Jeanne Marie Voltz and Luther Manship Voltz Jr.