Naomi Wise

Naomi Wise (real name Joan Goodwin) spent her teens living in the Carnegie Hall Building and eating in Manhattan's ethnic restaurants. She waitressed her way through the University of Michigan, then returned to New York. Following a motorcycle-camping trip across the U.S., she and her then-husband moved to San Francisco, where she worked a civil service day-job while writing film criticism for every low-paying publication in the Bay Area, plus a stint as restaurant critic for Francis Coppola’s City Magazine.

Meanwhile, she traveled the Pan American Highway from SF to Tierra del Fuego in a '57 Chevy pickup; visited England, France, Italy, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, and Thailand; and made numerous trips to New Orleans, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, and Hong Kong, collecting flavor-memories and scribbled recipes. She served as restaurant critic for the East Bay Express and the San Francisco Weekly. She wrote/cowrote four cookbooks, an unauthorized biography of Francis Ford Coppola (On the Edge: The Life and Times of Francis Coppola), and served as consulting editor on several cookbooks, travel, and gardening books. She relocated to San Diego In 2000 when the Reader made her an offer she couldn’t refuse — a salary.

Naomi passed away on December 15, 2011.

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