Virginia B. Wood Dies at 67

Austin food community mourns the loss of one of its champions

Virginia B. Wood, the Chronicle's food editor from 1997 to 2014, died Friday, March 2, in a San Antonio care facility.

Wood helped pioneer food news reporting in Austin. Her column, "Food-o-File," chronicled the latest in chef changes, restaurant openings, shuttered food businesses, and up-and-coming artisan foodmakers, from 1995 until 2015. Her column also acted as a call-to-action for food businesses and hospitality folks that needed the community's help. She was an early reporter on the burgeoning farm-to-table movement and many chefs that would later become stars in the food world. Her restaurant reviews were detailed and fair, and her encyclopedic knowledge is regarded as a foundation for our now nationally recognized premier food scene.

A talented baker who trained on the line in the Fonda San Miguel kitchen, Wood proudly co-wrote the text for Fonda San Miguel: Thirty Years of Food and Art, published in 2005. She also operated a local wholesale catering business, At Home on the Range, providing desserts, in addition to selling her treats to local restaurants for many years. Les Dames d'Escoffier made Wood an honorary dame in 2016, the same year she officially retired from the Chronicle. The Virginia B. Wood Hall of Fame was also created that year to honor institutional restaurants in our annual First Plates issue.

In July 2017, Wood's colleagues from the Chronicle, Austin Food & Wine Alliance, and Les Dames d'Escoffier Austin coordinated a bake sale benefit to supplement Wood's medical care. Batter Up for Virginia was a who's who of the local culinary community, with more than 30 well-known chefs and restaurant teams coming together to show their support for the woman who helped launch many of their culinary careers. David Norman of Easy Tiger and Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue created brisket kolaches that sold out in under one minute, and the event raised more than $7,000.

On a personal note, Wood published my first article for the Chronicle, in 2008. Both my mentor and my friend – and a fellow "West Texas gal" – Virginia will be greatly missed.

Wood's memorials are being planned and we'll update this page with more info.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

MORE Virginia B. Wood
Virginia B. Wood's Cookbook Collection Will Live on at Cookbook Cafe
Virginia B. Wood's Cookbook Collection Will Live on at Cookbook Cafe
"At Home On the Range" at the Central Library

Jessi Cape, June 22, 2018

More by Jessi Cape
7 Central Texas Destination Restaurants Worth the Trip
7 Central Texas Destination Restaurants Worth the Trip
Travel guide-worthy dining and tucked-away spots near Austin

May 17, 2019

Empowering the Syrian Refugee Community One Mediterranean Recipe at a Time
Empowering the Syrian Refugee Community One Mediterranean Recipe at a Time
A mother's story of falafel and family

May 10, 2019


Virginia B. Wood

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle