‘What Does Diwali Mean to Us This Year?’ We Asked 8 Food Pros.

Figuratively and literally the most lit festival that exists, the word derives from the Sanskrit word “deepavali,” translating to “a row of lamps.” Mythology explains that it was first celebrated when after 14 years in exile, Lord Rama came home to Ayo…

Figuratively and literally the most lit festival that exists, the word derives from the Sanskrit word "deepavali," translating to "a row of lamps." Mythology explains that it was first celebrated when after 14 years in exile, Lord Rama came home to Ayodhya in northern India and the entire village was lit up in his honor. Even today, Indians all over the world celebrate the five days that fall in the Kartik month of the Hindu calendar.

In a year different than any other Diwali before it, I checked in with chefs and food professionals—both in India and part of the diaspora—about what Diwali means to them, both generally and in 2020. One thing shone brighter than the warq on my kaju katli: While we may all have our cultural take and sui generis rituals, what accompanies the covey of sweets is a nostalgia-filled culinary narrative that is common to every Indian no matter where they are.

Read More >>

I Asked My Grandma About Her 62 Thanksgivings Before Me

As an editor and writer, I interview for a living—cookbook authors, restaurant owners, dairy farmers—but rarely someone I meet outside of work. This article is an exception.

I interviewed my 90-year-old grandma, Jolly (yes, that’s her name, and often …

As an editor and writer, I interview for a living—cookbook authors, restaurant owners, dairy farmers—but rarely someone I meet outside of work. This article is an exception.

I interviewed my 90-year-old grandma, Jolly (yes, that’s her name, and often her vibe), about Thanksgiving, and what it was like in our family long before I was born.

Read More >>

The Vegan Cookbook That’s Also a Call to Action

If anything, Haile Thomas’ food choices as a child were early indications. In the introduction to her new vegan cookbook, Living Lively, the food activist writes: “I despised the kids menu, and was kind of offended by it.” Instead, she adds, she picked…

If anything, Haile Thomas’ food choices as a child were early indications. In the introduction to her new vegan cookbook, Living Lively, the food activist writes: “I despised the kids menu, and was kind of offended by it.” Instead, she adds, she picked off the adult menu, watched Iron Chef on repeat, and enjoyed nothing more than cooking Jamaican meals alongside her mother.

When she was eight, the family learned that her father had type 2 diabetes. His illness, she says, led to a transformation in their attitude toward food: from seeing it as a vehicle for love to something that was life-giving and empowering. By age 10, she was speaking about the link between wellness and food at conferences like TEDx. At 12, she founded the not-for-profit HAPPY to address the need for affordable plant-based nutrition education in underserved communities. All the while, she held down her other job: school.

Read More >>

A New Food Magazine ‘to Celebrate, Highlight & See Black Women’

Klancy Miller was tired of waiting for a mainstream food publication to focus on Black women’s stories. So the writer, Le Cordon Bleu–trained pastry chef, and author of the 2016 cookbook Cooking Solo decided to create one: For the Culture, the first fo…

Klancy Miller was tired of waiting for a mainstream food publication to focus on Black women’s stories. So the writer, Le Cordon Bleu–trained pastry chef, and author of the 2016 cookbook Cooking Solo decided to create one: For the Culture, the first food magazine solely focused on and created by Black women.

Currently, the magazine’s first issue is set to publish this fall, but Miller and volunteers are already developing For the Culture’s concept online and in person. There’s a Patreon, featuring additional content for members. The London-based chef Zoe Adjonyoh hosts a weekly Instagram live interview series, and Jenelle Kellam and Keia Mastrianni organized a bake sale, whose proceeds will go toward continued support for the magazine, which so far has been solely financed through crowdfunding that began earlier this year.

Read More >>

Why Are Wine Stores Considered Essential? This Winemaker Tells All.

“I’m trying to employ my newly-minted-motherhood tactic,” California winemaker Martha Stoumen explained to me over the phone. “Distraction is the best medicine.”

Stoumen’s winery is based in Sonoma County, CA. Following undergraduate studies in tradit…

“I’m trying to employ my newly-minted-motherhood tactic,” California winemaker Martha Stoumen explained to me over the phone. “Distraction is the best medicine.”

Stoumen's winery is based in Sonoma County, CA. Following undergraduate studies in traditional agricultural systems and Italian, she went to Tuscany to apprentice on a farm—working in the vineyard, olive orchard, and winery.

Read More >>

What Exactly Is Russian Food Today?

Darra Goldstein’s written four cookbooks on Russian cuisine—each starkly different, reflective of her own ever-evolving understanding of and relationship to the continent. Beyond the North Wind: Russia in Recipes and Lore, her latest book, came from a …

Darra Goldstein's written four cookbooks on Russian cuisine—each starkly different, reflective of her own ever-evolving understanding of and relationship to the continent. Beyond the North Wind: Russia in Recipes and Lore, her latest book, came from a realization that the her first three cookbooks—on elaborate tsarist, austere Soviet, and cross-cultural Georgian—were not at all indicative of how Russians eat and cook today. To define “Russian” cuisine today called for a return to the elemental, the geographical.


Coral Lee: What first sparked this interest in Russian culture and cuisine?

Read More >>