About Mary Beth

Mary Beth Albright is a national food lawyer, food writer, and commentator based in Washington, D.C. Her decades of public health experience provide deep food-systems knowledge for her clients. She is a regular contributor to National Geographic on international food issues and brings her written work to life on Washington's WTOP radio and various broadcast news programs.

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 issues, Mary Beth started her consulting organization, Local Feast. She worked with subsequent Surgeons General and companies, advising on food systems and managing 12 nationwide employees for a White House initiative. She has been a federal grant reviewer. 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. 

Mary Beth started her legal career at the DC firm of Williams & Connolly after attending Georgetown Law, graduating cum laude, and The Johns Hopkins University as an undergraduate. Previously, Mary Beth was Morton Kondracke's research assistant at Roll Call, the oldest Capitol Hill newspaper.


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



Mary Beth was a finalist on Food Network Star, where she competed on Iron Chef America. Chef Bobby Flay noted that Mary Beth "talked so well about food, she made us fall more in love with food." Focused on creative uses of what's on hand, both seasonally and in the pantry, Mary Beth is an avid cook. Known for her mastery of ingredients, Mary Beth was also DC Magazine’s Food Critic from 2007-2012 and contributed as a National Food, Wine & Travel Correspondent for Forbes Travel Guide.

Mary Beth's work and experience is as diverse as her client list, leading to her description as a "well-rounded food person" by the James Beard Foundation. From opening a popup restaurant as part of an innovative government relations strategy to forming non-profit organizations for chefs, Mary Beth works with organizations that truly harness the powerful--and growing--food world. 

Mary Beth regularly gives speeches and appears on panels, both as a moderator and an expert, on topics from food diplomacy, to urban agriculture, to food movies. Contact her at



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.



Mary Beth's service to Washington and beyond includes board membership on the Workers of St. Albans, which funds local and international grants and significant funding for a school in South Sudan. In 2015, she chaired the National Cathedral Elementary School's Scholarship Fund, netting more than half a million dollars for student tuition.

Her food expertise is sought regularly for competitions, including the time she ate 2,000 foods in three days to judge the Specialty Food Association awards. 

Mary Beth lives in Washington, DC with her husband Craig and eight-year-old son Truman, who wants to know if you want to talk about baseball.



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