5 Stars (Risen and Rising) of the New York Food World

1) Amanda Kludt:  As Editor of Eater, her snappy prose and relentlessly frequent updates have helped turn the young web site into the top food media compiler for the City.  In a little more than a year it’s become the web site, if not the paper, of record for New York’s food industry.   Everyone from Chang to Zakarian calls or writes in to comment when an issue hits the media.  The thriving DOH Chronicles and Deathwatch features have entered the lexicon and nightmares of an entire city’s worth of restaurant owners.

 2) Juliette Pope.  Proof Danny Meyer is the City’s topic talent scout.  I can’t find a bottle I don’t like on Gramercy Tavern’s casual or formal menus thanks to its genius beverage director, nor one that I can can forget having ordered. Her wine and cocktail lists are among the most influential in town and the only ones in a 3-star restauarant to list bottles under 30 dollars.  No stunt selections, no Le Cirque markups, no duds, and plenty of surprises.  See Belinda Chang at the Modern as well.  After hearing her talk and reading some interviews, I hope she puts up a blog soon.  She has a great voice which would translate well to the Web.

3) Kim Severson:  In the last year or so Severson has become the go-to writer for all New York Times food stories in dining, metro and the front page.  With food shopping turning from pleasure to problem in many households, her voice will be an important one as consumers balance an interest in local, fresh and flavorful with a sudden crisis in safety and cost. 

4) Mary Mraz:  Mary has brought Gramercy Tavern level service off the island, out of the boroughs and all the way to the North Fork Table and Inn.  Rather than make do with a shallow local talent pool, she trained and retrained a corps of servers from the ground up. It’s the best front of house outside the City, and that’s saying something.  Proves enlightened hospitality is far more exportable than seemed possible.           

5) Heather Belz and Mani Dawes: With the additions of El Quinto Pino and an all Iberian wine shop called Tinto Fino to their lineup, these women are on their way to building an empire of Spanish food and drink.  Well managed growth and deep commitment to modern and classic Spain—from Tia Pol’s pintxos to Quinto Pino’s more innovative uni sandwiches to Tinto Fino’s wonderful sherry selection–make them one of the few pairs of restaurateurs able to serve food and drink with equal commitment to innovative flavors and specific regional perspectives: No pan-Iberian pandering here!    

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13 Responses to “5 Stars (Risen and Rising) of the New York Food World”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Severson has to be the best journalist working in the Dining section: Clean precise prose, no overblown conceits and no bad puns.

  2. Larry G. Says:

    Juliette Pope rocks!

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Eater’s a hell of a lot of fun. I can’t read Yelp any more without wondering about shill probabilities. Oh well.

    Hadn’t really thought about the editorial side. One gripe–Whoever’s compiling links could stand to cut down on the typos.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    I’d add Seth Kugel to the list. Loved his features on Juan Luis Guerra and on Queens Latin American food.

  5. eatsalot Says:

    You are so out of touch. Ben Leventhal built eater and came up with the features that you are calling out. Amanda Kludt has been on auto pilot since she started “editing” there. Also, she OFTEN gets details wrong and her posts are sloppy. She has not been the great addition to the site that you claim she is. Are you guys friends or something?

  6. FaHFS Says:

    It’s her name atop the masthead, so if things are going well–which they are– she gets a large share of the credit.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Did you catch Severson’s front page (albeit, below the fold) article in today’s Times?

  8. Larry G. Says:

    Mary’s the best! Eater’s writing–not really its purpose–has been mediocre since its inception. No worse but also no better under current management. You’re right about it being the site of record. Amazing how fast folks call into to correct/spin stories.

  9. Yorkville Slurper Says:

    F&W just ranked eater.com as #2 behind chowhound in its 30th anniversary issue. Good stuff for a young site!

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Eater’s not so big on the spellcheck, but give the kids a break. Sometimes you pay a price in copyediting for getting your news a day before it hits the mainstream press.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    Kludt was in today’s Times article on the West Side Shake Shack. Not a great quote–Danny Meyer is far better, and more practiced, at the sound bite, but another indication that Eater is becoming a media source of record.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    Alexandra Raij, exec chef at Tia Pol and Quinto Pino was just featured in Bon Appetit. I think she’s doing her own thing these days, but she merits mention with Dawes and Belz

  13. Anonymous Says:

    I’d add Donatella Arpaia to the list For classic NY Food powerhouses, you of course have Lidia Bastianich and Zarela Martinez.

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