About Gretchen

About Gretchen


Feature writer Gretchen McKay began her career at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 1992 as a freelance correspondent, covering municipal government and local school boards. She went on staff in 1997 as an education reporter.

Today, the Ben Avon resident and mother of five writes primarily about her true loves in life: homes, food and travel.

A  graduate of Penn State with a degree in English, Gretchen earned a master’s degree in professional writing from George Mason University in Virginia. While living in Hong Kong in the mid ’80s, she worked as a writer/editor of “Off Duty,” a military lifestyle magazine. She has also worked as an editor/writer for the national magazine “First For Women.”

Gretchen is the recipient of numerous awards, including several for food reporting.  She won first place for Best Newspaper Special Food project in the national Association of Food Journalists‘ Awards Competition in 2013 for a series called “This is Pittsburgh Food.” A story  on “How to Roast a Pig” won second place for Best Food Feature in AFJ’s 2012 competition while her “Cooking with Gretchen” video series, with Post-Gazette videographer Steve Mellon, captured  first place in  2010 and second place in 2011. She also won third place in the 2002 National Awards for Education Reporting for a story she did on adult literacy and in 2004 was a finalist for a Missouri Lifestyle Journalism award.

Gretchen also is a 2014 Les Dames d’Escoffier Legacy Award winner.

She is married to fellow Penn Stater Peter McKay, a nationally syndicated humor writer who pens a bi-monthly  column in the Post-Gazette’s  Saturday home section.

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