London, United Kingdom
|Education||BA in literature, Emerson College, 2004|
|Alma mater||Emerson College|
|Occupation(s)||Restaurant critic, recipe developer|
|Employer(s)||The Village Voice, New York Times, Bloomberg|
Tejal Rao is a restaurant critic, recipe developer and writer based in Los Angeles. In 2018, she was named the first California restaurant critic for The New York Times. In 2021, she was named editor of the New York Times subscription cooking newsletter The Veggie.
Rao was born in London, but spent time in Kuwait, Sudan, and France during her youth before settling in Cobb County, Georgia as a teenager. Rao attended Emerson College, where she earned a BA in literature. Rao's mother was born in Uganda and her father was raised in India.
In 2012, Rao joined The Village Voice as a food critic. In 2013, Rao won the James Beard Foundation’s Craig Claiborne Distinguished Restaurant Review Award for her work for The Village Voice.
In 2014, Rao joined Bloomberg as a food editor and restaurant critic. In 2016, she won the James Beard Foundation’s Craig Claiborne Distinguished Restaurant Review Award once again, this time for her work at Bloomberg. In the same year, Rao joined the New York Times as a food department staff writer and monthly columnist for its magazine. In 2018, she was named the New York Times' first California restaurant critic, to better serve the growing number of New York Times readers in the state. In 2021, Rao was named the New York Times writer for the vegetarian recipe newsletter The Veggie.
Rao has also contributed to a range of other publications, such as The Atlantic, Edible, and Gourmet, among others.
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