Toby Daniel Moorsom Young (born 17 October 1963) is a British journalist and the author of How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, the tale of his stint in New York as a contributing editor at Vanity Fair magazine. A food writer as well as a journalist, Young currently serves as a regular judge on the Bravo television show Top Chef.
Early Life and CareerEdit
Young's father was Michael Young, a Labour life peer and pioneering sociologist who invented the word "meritocracy". His mother was the novelist, sculptor and painter Sasha Moorsom.Young was educated at Brasenose College, Oxford (gaining a first in PPE), as well as Harvard and Trinity College, Cambridge. While studying at Oxford University, Young started a magazine named The Danube, discovering his interest in journalism. He then left for Harvard as a Fulbright scholar, where he worked as a teaching fellow in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. He returned to the UK in 1988 and worked as a teaching assistant at Cambridge University in the Social and Political Sciences Faculty until 1990. In 1991, Young founded and edited the Modern Review with Julie Burchill and her then husband Cosmo Landesman; this lasted until 1995, when with the magazine close to financial ruin, Young closed it down, angering his principal financial backer Peter York. This decision led to a fierce public battle with Burchill and her then lover, Charlotte Raven, a writer at the magazine.
Vanity Fair and BeyondEdit
Young moved to New York City in the mid-1990's to work for Vanity Fair. After his final Vanity Fair contract expired and was not renewed in 1998, Young remained in New York for a further two years, working as a columnist at New York Press. He returned to the UK in 2000 and is currently an associate editor of The Spectator, where he writes a weekly column. Young has performed in the West End in a stage adaptation of How to Lose Friends and Alienate People and, in 2005, co-wrote (with fellow Spectator journalist Lloyd Evans) a sex farce about the David Blunkett/Kimberley Quinn scandal and the "Sextator" affairs of Boris Johnson and Rod Liddle called Who's the Daddy? It was named Best New Comedy at the 2005 Theatregoers' Choice Awards.
From 2002-7, Young wrote a weekly restaurant column for The Evening Standard, and he currently reviews restaurants for the Independent on Sunday. In addition to serving as a judge on Top Chef, Young has competed in the Channel 4 TV series Come Dine With Me, appeared as one of the panel of food critics in the 2008 BBC Two series Eating with the Enemy and served as a judge on Hell's Kitchen.
British producer Stephen Woolley and his wife, Elizabeth Karlsen, produced the film adaptation How to Lose Friends & Alienate People, in conjunction with FilmFour. Simon Pegg plays Young, who co-produced the film. The film was released in Britain on October 3, 2008 and reached the number one spot at the box office in its opening week.