A selection of published articles on food and the people who cook, eat and serve.
(Click each headline to read the full story.)
At Brewery Bhavana, Congee is a Way to Remember Home
Healthyish/Bon Appetit, Nov. 27, 2017
Vanvisa and Van Nolintha left Laos—and their parents—when they were young. They learned to cook as a way to stay connected to their roots.
The Restaurant Industry Depends on Immigrant Labor. What Happens If We Lose Them?
INDY Week, March 22, 2017
A discomfort and negotiation are expressed in our history, with patterns of exploitation that we must confront. Labor and food are symbiotic. This essay explores those themes during a trip to Mexico, where I spent time with a former cook in North Carolina award-winning restaurants who returned home for fear of deportation.
Venerated Crook’s Corner Chef Bill Smith’s Legacy Will Endure Long After His Retirement
INDY Week’s Food & Drink Almanac, May 6, 2019
Smith walks the walk: He’s been outspoken about his views on immigration and sponsored three immigrant families from Mexico (when it was legally possible to do so). He’s also godfather to many of his Mexican staffers’ children, and Seasoned in the South’s dedication is a bilingual tribute to his chosen family in the “land of blood, meat, and fire.”
Back of the House: INDY's Dish Special Issue on the Stories Behind the Kitchen Door
INDY Week, Oct. 18, 2017
This eight-story special issue peeks into the personalities behind our most visited restaurants, with quirky discoveries and surprising kitchen rituals. I conceptualized the idea, assigned writers, edited the package, and wrote five stories.
Jessamyn Stanley Starts Her Morning With Yoga and Kendrick Lamar
Healthyish/Bon Appetit, March 12, 2018
In 2014, before she started popping up on your Instagram feed in fly Ivy Park athleisure and targeted Kotex ads, Jessamyn Stanley was a hostess at a tapas restaurant in downtown Durham, NC and taught yoga classes for restaurant workers looking to relieve their over-worked bodies. Her irreverent yoga tutorials on YouTube and Instagram have since garnered hundreds of thousands of followers. As a plus-sized, queer woman of color, she's captured the attention of a world that looks overwhelmingly different than her.
Inside Raleigh's North Person Street Neighborhood
Food & Wine / Travel + Leisure, Nov. 7, 2017
Raleigh’s North Person Street runs right past the iconic Krispy Kreme (if the “Hot Now” neon sign is gleaming, pull over immediately and devour a glazed doughnut fresh off the conveyor belt). Blocks from the downtown capitol, a less buttoned-up Raleigh is cultivating its entrepreneurial spirit led by an expanding creative class. (T+L commissioned me to choose a Raleigh neighborhood and write about a few favorite spots for its LOCAL FLAVOR series.)
The South's 38 Essential Restaurants
Eater, March 23, 2017
The dining rooms, shacks, stands, storefronts, and counters that define America’s most vibrant dining region. (I wrote about Saltbox Seafood Joint in Durham and Chef and the Farmer in Kinston.)
What Do Lakewood Immigrant Residents Think of Their Neighborhood's Newest High-End Restaurant?
INDY Week, Aug. 30, 2017
In Durham, food is an element of great pride, and the gateway drug for newcomers to experience a new South hallucination, free of complexities. [...] Still, when our world has gone to shit, a meal at a nice restaurant provides us with an escape, one we tell ourselves we deserve. But who is we? [...] As we sit at the table that Friday night, Mendoza cuts into his steak and surveys the room."White people stare too much," he says.
Famed Nigerian Chef Tunde Wey Stirs Up a Conversation About Race and Food That Was Already Simmering in Durham
INDY Week, Dec. 26, 2016
"I didn't want to be anybody's fantasy. My sort of reticence in speaking about the food is because there are so many opportunities when we're talking about race for people to get distracted. Either through humor or pedantic speech. I didn't want food to be the third thing."
Raleigh's Greek Legacy: Learn to cook and open a little restaurant
News & Observer, Nov. 28, 2015
Some of Raleigh’s longest-running restaurants started by Greek refugees fleeing war in the early 1900s. Their families have kept the traditions alive.
Lady Butchers Grab the Knife
Modern Farmer, Aug. 15, 2013
More than 30 percent of U.S. farmers tallied in the 2007 USDA Census of Agriculture were women. If farmers are increasingly female, the same seems to be happening for butchers, meat processors on the slaughter floor and chefs. In the South, many of these women are unabashedly entering a male-dominated industry to craft their own innovative, sustainable businesses.
Roots Torn Out by War and Replanted in Raleigh Bear “Jewels of Prosperity” for Arab-Americans
INDY Week, Oct. 26, 2016
For Fahd, fruit trees and herb gardens were a cathartic way to make sense of the world. He had slipped grafts of Lebanese pomegranate and fig trees, sprigs of mint attached to their roots, through the more lenient American airport security of the 1970s. Because he often worked landscape jobs for Raleigh's growing community of Arab-Americans, Fahd "would not ask," says Samir, to plant these three treasures in his friends' backyards. He just did it.
Pozole, a Mexican Stew of Devotion and Celebration, Simmers in Durham
INDY Week, Oct. 12, 2016
In the Ceja Bautistas' backyard, the evening air carries the aromas of church incense, teenage cologne, and simmering onions down a dirt path scattered with pine needles
INDY Week, Feb. 6, 2013
Most of us have a soundtrack to our lives, a mental playlist we retrieve at the moments we find most celebratory or unbearable or just right. For much of my early childhood, mine came from a 1950s tabletop diner jukebox.
Greece's New Farmers
Huffington Post, Nov. 5, 2012
“Greece is only now discovering the power of civil society,” says young farmer Pavlos Georgiadis. “There has been cheap money for too many people. And our cities aren’t functional any more. There is obviously a new road for civil society and for farmers.”
Raspados: shave ice, syrup and a spoon
INDY Week, June 20, 2012
A neon-green truck beams with a looping script that reads "Raspados Elenita." The Spanish term raspados comes from raspar, meaning "to scrape." A Salvadoran woman in her 50s, Rosa Elena Ochoa, or Elenita, speaks limited English but greets everyone with a resplendent smile and a maternal care. "Aquí está, cariño. Here you are, dear," she says, handing four-year-old Juan Angel his treat topped with nance, a tiny, peach-like fruit from the tropical regions of Central America. "Nance, nance!" he screams, slurping up a spoonful.
INDY Week, Oct. 5, 2011
On my first visit to the Khalaf family's Iraqi-American home in Durham, Donia opens the door and apologizes. "The smell is so strong," she says. A stovetop gurgle emanates from the kitchen, the sound effect to the scent of garlic and tomato trailing toward the front door. Donia looks at me with a concerned smile, her kind, espresso-brown eyes seeming to ask for forgiveness. I tell her that it actually smells delicious in here, like a real home. Her smile broadens into a shy, pleased grin, swooping into two deep-set dimples, framed by freckles.
Against the grain: Bread Uprising's revolutionary spirit
INDY Week, Sept. 26, 2012
"We have always had a multiracial, multiclass, multiqueer (as we like to say) membership, and we were concerned by some inquiries that we had received from the 'foodie' scene in Durham, which is very white and class-privileged. We were concerned that our community could essentially be gentrified if we expanded without being intentional."