About Mary Beth

Mary Beth Albright is the Food Anchor at The Washington Post. She is a food expert with broad experience, from National Geographic writer to finalist on Food Network Star, where she competed on Iron Chef America. She is a trusted, grounded voice in the Washington, D.C. food world and a "well rounded food person," according to the James Beard Foundation. After competing for four months on Food Network Star, Chef Bobby Flay commented that Mary Beth "speaks so well about food, she makes us fall in love with food even more."

A D.C. resident for 25 years, Mary Beth has witnessed and written about the District-Maryland-Virginia area's increased national recognition for both its longstanding rich neighborhoods, and its burgeoning development. Food culture--both old and new--is a vital part of both.

Mary Beth was an original featured writer for National Geographic's The Plate, where she authored several pieces each month on all aspects of food. She continues to bring her work to life as a guest commentator on radio and television, including her regular appearances on WTOP radio. Mary Beth believes that food touches everything else, so "food people" must speak to a wide audience, applying knowledge across disciplines and always relating food to people.

She is a frequent panel moderator--including for the U.S. State Department and the Smithsonian--on topics as wide-ranging as culinary diplomacy, whether there is a science to restaurant criticism, and food access. 

Mary Beth's food-judging expertise is sought regularly, including the time she ate 2,000 foods in three days to judge the Outstanding New Products Awards. Outside of the food world, her service includes co-chairing the National Cathedral Elementary School Scholarship Fund's 40th anniversary, raising almost $1 million.

Mary Beth has served on multiple boards, including the WSA, which provides grants to D.C. not-for-profit organizations. Mary Beth is an elected member of Les Dames d'Escoffier, an esteemed group of women in the culinary professions, which counts Julia Child among its alumnae. 

Her passion for real, good food grew from her mentor, the legendary Surgeon General C. Everett Koop. After 15 years of working with Dr. Koop on health and food issues, and attending Georgetown Law at night (graduating cum laude), Mary Beth worked with subsequent Surgeons General and companies, advising on food systems and managing a White House initiative.

Mary Beth also worked at the DC firm of Williams & Connolly and was Morton Kondracke's research assistant at Roll Call, the oldest Capitol Hill newspaper. As an undergraduate, she attended The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. She also completed L'Academie de Cuisine's two-semester culinary basics course in Bethesda, Maryland.

Mary Beth lives in Washington, D.C.

Contact her at

Mary Beth has worked with the following organizations and individuals to improve food's central role in life and community:

US House of Representatives Preschool

Safeway, Inc.

McCormick Spice Co.

Chef Art Smith

Kaiser Permanente

The Smithsonian Institution

Sabra Dipping Company

US Department of State

US Surgeon General's Office 

US Personal Chef Association

A FEW Sample pieces By Mary Beth

What is a Food Lawyer Anyway

How Drones Will Change the Way You Eat

Creating Health Care, Disguised as a Grocery Store

Bracing for a Food Fight: High Tech vs. Slow Food

Food Czars and Food Policy Councils

Marijuana and Urban Agriculture

Uncle Sam Wants You to Live and Farm on a National Park

“Food touches everything-the environment, city planning, health, transportation, technology-and our strategies must cross disciplines.





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