The staff of the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York know Josh Friedland as their former director of communications turned food blogger.
But after he left healthcare he assumed a secret identity as @RuthBourdain, author of a parody Twitter account begun in 2010 that sends up Ruth Reichl, former Gourmet editor, and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain. Friedland's identity was recently revealed in a New York Times article.
And @RuthBourdain is more than a joke pairing the imagined appetites and profane musings of Bourdain with Reichl's poetic syntax. As @RuthBourdain, Friedland won a James Beard Foundation Award for humorous food writing and published a book, Comfort me with Offal.
Friedland's blog, the Food Section, which he launched in 2003, was swiftly spotted by Gourmet, which praised the website as the “consummate gastronomic blog.” Other news outlets and food magazines took notice as well. Eventually, the blog and food writing demanded more of Friedland's time. He began to curb his hours at the hospital, which was “very accommodating,” he says. In 2007, his writing career, a move and a growing family prompted him to leave.