Kay Goldstein was born Kathleen Gurley in Lexington, NC but spent a lot of her growing up years in Buffalo, NY. It was there, living in a working class neighborhood in her grandfather’s house that she learned about ethnic food and cultures. It was to become a lifelong passion. Returning to the South as a teenager (practically a foreign country to a city- raised kid) and as a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she came to appreciate Southern small town life, the taste of Lexington hickory smoked barbecue and the slower pace of the countryside.
In 1976, Atlanta became home to Kay and her husband, Buck. She practiced psychotherapy for a number of years while occasionally catering small events for friends and selling handmade pasta. In 1979 she founded Proof of the Pudding, Atlanta’s first gourmet takeout store and catering business offering innovative American and fusion foods.
Kay's client list included most major institutions in the city and their honored guests including international celebrities such as Richard Avedon, Robert Redford, the BeeGees, Judy Chicago, Paloma Picasso, President Carter, and Andrew Young. She expanded her business to include a restaurant in the Arts Center and became the exclusive provider of food services at the Carter Presidential Center.
In 1990, Kay sold her position in the company to spend more time with her growing family. She began writing, and edited the first three Zagat Surveys for Atlanta and won a national culinary competition for professionals. In 1993, she published with co-author Liza Nelson and photographer Al Clayton, A Book of Feasts, Recipes and Stories from American Celebrations (Longstreet Press) which was nominated for a James Beard Award.
She has served as President of Les Dames d'Escoffier and as a regional judge for the James Beard Awards.
Kay recently publish Star Child, a fairy tale for all ages about being true to one's self. She continues to write poetry, essays, memoirs and fiction and is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post where she writes primarily about meditation, mindfulness and spiritual practice in daily life. In addition to her writing, Kay teaches meditation which she has practiced for almost 25 years. A lifelong spiritual seeker, she works with and combines her learnings from many traditions and philosophies including Taoism, Judaism, Buddhism, western psychotherapy, and the teachings, among many others, of Eckhart Tolle, Sharon Salzberg and Byron Katie. She holds a second degree Reiki certificate. She is especially grateful for the opportunity to work with her long time teachers Leong Tan, Neala Peake and Meg McLaughlin.
Kay is married to Buck Goldstein (1970) and they have two children, Katherine (30) and Max (27). She divides her time between Chapel Hill, NC and Chilmark, MA.
- University of North Carolina at Chapel HillSociology, 1967 - 1971