Mary Beth Durkin
Mary Beth is a James Beard award-winning news producer who covers food from every angle. Her penetrating stories appear on broadcast television, in print, social and other media. Mary Beth’s work shines a light on how food intersects with our health, the environment and public policy.
Mary Beth’s passion for food journalism inspired her to create the Food4Thought series for the PBS NewsHour. She also contributes to the PBS NewsHour’s Making Sen$e series, where she explores the business and economics of food with Economic Correspondent Paul Solman.
In 2016 and 2018, Mary Beth was awarded a prestigious James Beard Award in the category of “Best TV Segment” for the Food4Thought series. Mary Beth's stories take you on food journeys into the world of food waste, sustainability, food safety & regulation, food tech, eating trends and the business of food. Along the way viewers meet celebrity chefs, scientists, healthcare experts, environmentalists, fisherman and some celebrity chefs engaged in food activism.
Mary Beth’s interest in food is more than just a job, it’s her passion. She loves to eat, drink, cook, write, grow and talk about food. On a small plot of land on Maryland’s eastern shore she has robust vegetable, herb and heirloom tomato gardens that you can find her in when she’s not out filming or in her office writing or blogging about food for the PBS NewsHour, National Geographic and other publications.
Before diving into food journalism, Mary Beth was a documentary filmmaker and a network television news producer. She produced, wrote and directed two documentaries for the PBS series, The Modern First Ladies. Her 2009 documentary, Betty Ford: The Real Deal, earned her a Cine Golden Eagle for Best Historical Biography. Her 2011 documentary, narrated by PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff, Nancy Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime premiered at the National Museum of American History. Mary Beth also spent two decades as a network news producer on the CBS Evening News and later at the PBS NewsHour, where she honed her skills covering a variety of topics such as healthcare, the economy and immigration, among others.