Dallas Food and Wine Feminist Diane Teitelbaum Died Today

Dallas has lost one of the most important forces in the food and hospitality business. Diane Teitelbaum, mostly known for her work as a wine consultant, wine educator, appraiser, and writer, has passed away.

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Diane Teitelbaum. (Photography courtesy of Lana Bortolot)

Dallas has lost one of the most important forces in the food and hospitality business. Diane Teitelbaum, mostly known for her work as a wine consultant, wine educator, appraiser, and writer, has passed away. She was 68.

Teitelbaum’s list of accomplishments is long: wine correspondent to the Dallas Morning News, wine consultant for American Airlines, and contributor to the The Oxford Companion to Wine. Teitelbaum was an esteemed international wine judge and wrote about wine for newspapers, online sites, and magazines.

In the early ’80s she was deeply involved in the Southwestern Cuisine movement that catapulted the Dallas culinary world onto the international stage. Teitelbaum and then Dallas Times Herald food critic Michael Bauer, currently executive food and wine editor and restaurant critic at the San Francisco Chronicle, experimented with pairing wines with the flavors of the Southwest. Their articles, published in the Wine Spectator, were the first to appear on the subject.

Diane Teitelbaum is one of the reasons why I am able to type these words. She was a charter member of the Dallas chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, one of the original five chapters that formed LDE International. The invitation-only organization is a philanthropic society of professional women leaders in the fields of food, fine beverage, and hospitality. In 1985 women were fighting for equality in the food, wine, and restaurant business. Teitelbaum’s fierce determination was a major forces in putting women in the forefront not just in Dallas but in Texas. She was an indomitable force, bossy and smart in a good way. She always spoke with conviction and one did not second guess her judgment.

I was lucky enough to serve in LDE alongside Teitelbaum. We worked on several fundraisers and projects together. In 2002, I wrote a story on the best BYOB restaurants in Dallas, and Teitelbaum added suggested wine pairings.

Former D Magazine dining critic Mary Brown Malouf, currently the editor of Salt Lake Magazine, was a long-time friend and colleague of Teitelbaum’s. “This is a huge loss for Dallas. She was one of those women who sailed into a room and started giving orders,” Malouf says. “She scared a lot of us, but she was absolutely, completely supportive and encouraging and helpful to females. She was a true food feminist.”

Update: The Dallas chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier will host a celebration of Diane’s life on Monday, December 15, from noon-4 pm. The service will take place at 3015 at Trinity Groves, 3015 Gulden Ln. For information, call 214-939-3015.

Comments

  • Kim Harwell Jones

    She was an amazing woman, and I’m glad that I had the opportunity to know her both professionally and personally. I imagine a lot of glasses will be raised in her honor today. She will be missed.

  • CharleneJones

    Beautiful tribute to an amazing person. I’m so sorry to read if her death.

  • Lana

    Diane was generous in sharing both her wine and herself. She inspired me, encouraged me and mentored me. She touched everyone she met with her deep wisdom and knowledge and her complete lack of pretension. We should all take a lesson from her.

  • Charles

    Oh darling Diane. I lost touch with you years ago and now I can’t make that better. So sad to read this. Wonderful friend and spirit. I love you always.

  • Mark

    I had the privilege of working with her on several occasions. She was one fine lady. I will certainly miss her.

  • Mike

    Very sad day for everyone that was lucky enough to have met Diane. I feel even luckier that I had the privilege of dining with her and her husband and sharing her amazing knowledge of food and wine. Dallas lost a true star.

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  • Andrew

    I actually have a few bottles of wine stashed in my cellar that have “The Winery” price tag on them…will open one in her honor

    • Linda Eisenstein

      Me Too!!

  • amanda

    Diane was a truly amazing woman. She will be missed beyond words.

  • txwineevangel

    Had the opportunity to meet Diane some years back at a Women for Wine Sense event. A great lady and writer. Cheers to a legendary Dallasite.

  • Jonathan Maltus

    This is awful news – Diana was someone who gave me some hope and encouragement at a very early part of my career. A wonderful, erudite woman. She will be sadly missed.

  • Janet

    What an amazing force Diane was! She was so very committed to excellence and to sharing her knowledge about wine with the world. Thank you, Diane for sharing. You will be missed by many.

  • Me2

    One great lady. RIP

  • Steven Benezue

    I will miss Diane. she was such a great person. Dinner at her house was always such a special event.

  • Christina Jonsson

    Diane was an elegant lady and a 60’s hippie all rolled into one unique, fabulous groundbreaking dynamo! Diane was dearly loved by most who knew her. (She was human too.) I loved her.

  • David Rosengarten

    Ohhh. I am SO sorry to hear of this. I LOVED Diane. What a great food person, wine person…what a great person. She will be sorely missed by so many.

  • Erin McKelvey Petit

    I met Diane 20 yrs ago as I was putting on my first major Beaujolais Festival for the French-American Chamber of Commerce and needed a wine aficionado to help Bring in the Beaujolais. We met for lunch and, though I was terribly intimidated at the time, she warmly and graciously helped me through the first of many years of official toasts. Her warm eyes always made me feel she cared. She was the first person to welcome me with a loving hand-written note when I became a Dame in 1999. I will never forget that and am so glad I had the chance to speak with her in the past year.

  • Paul Pinnell

    Shocked and sadden by the passing of iconic culinary ambassador “Ms. T”! 25+ yrs of friendship leaves fun-filled and cherished memories. Classy, warm hearted and deeply dedicated to the culinary arts and the dining scene–Dallas has lost a dear soul and a great wine palate!!!