Todd Kliman
Culinary and cultural ambassador between the US and China


Consultant, 2019-Present

  • Develop, implement, and oversee brand strategy, media strategy, and social media campaigns for restaurants, food companies, wine retailers, and wineries
  • Conceive and craft content marketing and content marketing campaigns
  • Develop and re-focus restaurant menus, revamp wine programs, design and revise restaurant websites, work with chefs, GMs, and restaurateurs to incorporate storytelling into each aspect of the dining experience, and to create dynamic synergy among the various parts of the operation
  • Provide media coaching and training to chefs and restaurateurs; local and national corporations; government; politicians

Clients in: New York City; Brooklyn; Washington, D.C.; Bethesda, Maryland; Baltimore, Maryland; Alexandria, Va.; Arlington, Va.; Middleburg, Va.; Richmond, Va.; Outer Banks, North Carolina.


Managing Partner, Primal Cut Consulting, 2017-2019

  • Consulted on large-scale commercial development projects in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, and New York City
  • Assisted developers in their retail placemaking retail, coordinating the work of businesses, artists, and restaurateurs
  • Helped to conceive and plan large-scale outdoor events, including the million-dollar Opus Merriweather, in Columbia, Md., a Howard Hughes Corp.-sponsored extravaganza of performance, light, music, art, and food, involving 24 artists from 14 countries
  • Researched and wrote feasibility studies
  • Set strategy for large-scale place-making projects
  • Recruited and vetted talent
  • Negotiated contracts and development deals
  • Developed media campaigns
  • Worked with restaurants and companies to build storytelling into their models and operations
  • Wrote the proposal for the club that became Keystone Korner Baltimore, one of the leading jazz clubs on the East Coast


Editor-at-Large, Richmond Magazine, 2017-2019

Michelin 2 star (2015),  AAA 5 Diamonds, 4 Stars Chicago Tribune

  • Edited long-form features
  • Directed the investigative journalism unit
  • Oversaw food coverage in the magazine and on the web
  • Mentored young writers, two of whom won city and regional awards for their articles
  • Developed and planned special editions, including an award-winning issue devoted to the legacy of Arthur Ashe
  • Helped to plan two years of the annual Elby Award show, honoring the best chefs, restaurateurs, and restaurants in the city


Food Columnist and Food Editor, The Washington City Paper, 2003-2005

  • Wrote a weekly column, “Young and Hungry,” about restaurants and food culture in the nation’s capital; in 2005, it received a James Beard Foundation Award in 2005 for best newspaper column in the country
  • Edited and wrote long-form features
  • Built the newspaper’s digital food media operation


Author, Writer, Public Speaker, 1995-Present

  • Author of two critically-acclaimed books (The Wild Vine, which The Richmond Times-Dispatch called “an outstanding piece of literature,” and The Perfect Chef)
  • Contribute articles to a variety of publications, including: The New Yorker, Harper’s, The Oxford American, The Daily Beast, Men’s Health, Gourmet, The Washington Post Magazine, Lucky Peach, National Geographic Traveler, The Washington Post, NPR online, and others
  • Lectures on food culture, the intersection of culture and literature, and the future of journalism at: The Folger Shakespeare Theatre, the Smithsonian, the CIA, the University of Missouri, the Missouri State Historical Society, the Virginia State Historical Society, the Library of Virginia, University of Mississippi, the Nazareth School (Ethiopia), and the Naale Elite Academy (Israel), the Brava Theatre in San Francisco
  • Guest host, The Kojo Nnamdi Show, Washington, D.C.
  • Consulting Producer for TASTE, and ROOTS TO TABLE, two shows for television being developed by StoryForce, the Hollywood production company that is behind the current Amazon docuseries hit LuLaRich, and that has won an Oscar and two Emmys


Professor of Literature and Writing, 1995-2003

  • Taught world literature and writing at American University and Howard University
  • Served as Editorial Director for The Illtop Journal, a magazine of satire at Howard University founded by the comedian Chris Rock



Team 13, Afghan Rescue and Relief, October 2021-Present


  • Assist team leaders with research
  • Create connections to help refugees find long-term resources
  • Edit documents, memos, and articles


Karp Family School, 2018 and 2020-2021

Greenbelt, Md.

  • 2020-2021: Conceived, developed, and implemented an online curriculum for the pandemic-affected school year of 2020-2021, supervising another teacher and teaching courses in addition
  • 2018: Taught Hebrew and Jewish history to 4th and 5th graders


Art Works Studio School, 2016-2017

Hyattsville, Md.

  • Taught writing to underserved Prince George’s County schoolchildren after school, focusing on expressiveness, clarity, rhetorical structure, and understanding of audience
  • Assisted with fundraising efforts


Moderator, The Invisible Project, 2017-Present

Northern Virginia

  • Moderated a series of townhalls in Northern Virginia to discuss issues of immediate concern to constituents, including healthcare, education, immigration policy, economic security, and foreign policy


Host, The Warehouse Theater, 2017        

Washington, D.C.

  • Conceived and organized a series of themed discussions about America in the wake of the 2016 election
  • Hosted a lively public forum, orchestrating conversations among historians, journalists, authors, political scientists, political operatives, cultural psychologists, philosophers, poets, and religious leaders



  • 2 James Beard Awards; 6 nominations as author, writer, and editor
  • 3 City and Regional Magazine Awards
  • Association of Food Journalists Award: First Place, Feature Writing
  • 37 Citations in Academic Journals and Papers

A 2016 magazine profile: