writing

As much as I adore visual storytelling, there's a soft spot in my heart for writing. I contribute stories about my culinary adventures to a ton of major leading media outlets, including Travel + Leisure, The Los Angeles Times, The Today Show, Departures, Travel Age West, in-flight magazines, and more.  Here are some of my latest clips. 

 
 
 
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Travel + Leisure: Cassia. The Vietnamese-style pot au feu is a soul-hugging take on the French peasant dish, served in a rustic clay pot full of piping hot savory beef broth and a behemoth cut of bone marrow. Also not to be missed are the clay oven breads and spreads, namely the Vietnamese paté topped with vinegary pickled chiles that add a wonderful hit of acid, served alongside herbs and a naan-like flatbread, as well the Chinese broccoli painted with caramelized fish sauce cooked over an open flame.

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Travel + Leisure: What To Eat in Tokyo. Characterized by an unrelenting attention to detail and the persistent pursuit of excellence, the megalopolis of Tokyo is known as one of the world’s best eating cities. Here, a handy guide to eight of the city’s essential dishes, how to say their names, and where to find them. 

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Travel + Leisure: What To Eat In Costa Rica. From pejibayes, a strange but addictive snack served with coffee, to artisan goat cheese and a seafood cocktail that's also the world's best hangover cure, here are eight Costa Rican foods you have to try.

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Travel + Leisure: Willie's Shoes. If you’re looking to find one of L.A.’s finest bespoke shoemakers while gallivanting along Robertson Boulevard or window-shopping on Rodeo, it’s time to recalibrate. Tucked on a nondescript corner near La Brea and Olympic perhaps better known for auto mechanics and body shops, you’ll find Willie’s, a shoemaker operated by true craftsmen using time-tested techniques rarely seen in today’s mechanized, one-size-fits-all society.

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Departures: Dining Agenda Column. For three years, I wrote the Departures Magazine Dining Agenda column. I covered the most exciting openings and events going on the food world, from chef shifts to high end food festivals.

It made me keep a bird’s eye view on the global food scene. (The caveat, of course, is that it also made my hunger-lust get even wilder!) 

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Departures: Hunting and Fishing Trips Around The Globe. From stylized deer stalking in the Scottish foothills to adventuresome octopus spearfishing in Mexico, hotels and resorts around the world are bringing the centuries-old sports of hunting and fishing to the 21st-century traveler. Here are our picks for the top hunting and fishing pursuits at hotels around the globe.

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Departures: What To Eat in Austin, TX. There's a lot to sift through in this amazing Southwestern city, which has made a name for itself as one of America’s finest culinary destinations. From finger-lickin' Texas BBQ to elegant Japanese farmhouse cuisine and everything in between, here are Austin’s must-eats.

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Departures: Where to Stay in L.A. These are my hometown's best hotels from Hollywood to Downtown. I featured four of my favorite small, design-minded properties in Los Angeles are bringing charm and sophistication to the city's newly reinvigorated hotel scene.

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LA Times Op-Ed: Modern Feminism. There are many faces of the current gender equality movement. But to me, the absolute embodiment of the empowered female isn’t Hillary Clinton, Emma WatsonLena Dunham, or even Beyonce. It’s a bruised up backpacker named Cheryl Strayed. 

Strayed’s journey -- portrayed in her memoir “Wild” and the new film starring Reese Witherspoon -- speaks to me as a young woman who has taken a similar pilgrimage. Here's why.

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LA Times Travel: How I Traveled The Globe Working On Organic Farms. I spent about a year traveling throughout Australia and Southeast Asia while learning about sustainable food production through a program called WWOOFing, and wrote about it for the travel section when I got home.

World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms gives people the chance to help the environment while traveling the globe. I can't recommend it enough!

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LA Times Food: School Gardens Growing in L.A. While most schools sit like dormant ghost towns during the summer, a few are breaking up the asphalt, planting seeds that will be sprouting edible gardens come September.  It may seem counterintuitive to start new programs in this economic climate. Summer school was canceled at many campuses this year, the $1.7-million California Instructional School Garden Program grant to the Los Angeles Unified School District has expired, and the budget crisis has left countless teachers unemployed.  But this groundswell, largely sparked by parent and community interest -- and perhaps some inspiration from Michelle Obama's White House garden -- is finding support in all the right places.

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LA Times Travel: Truffle Hunting In The Growing Western Australia Region. France has historically been king of the Périgord truffle, but unexpectedly low yields there, coupled with a huge projected harvest from the Southern Forests township of Manjimup, have turned this corner of Australia into the promised land for foodies, chefs and mycologists, the branch of botany whose focus is fungi.

As a curious gastronome and hands-on-learner, I've come here to learn more about the cultivation of this fungus, which, with a few swipes from a grater, transforms a dish from "ho-hum" to "oh yum!" It's been a few years since my last visit to Western Australia, where I worked at vineyards and sustainable farms, trying to absorb as much gastronomic knowledge as possible. The emergence of the black truffle industry -- and the hunts organized for tourists -- has brought me, and other travelers, here.

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Through their social media interactivity, local butchers Lindy & Grundy also inadvertently tapped into an underground network of female butchers. Women in the industry from Kentucky to Toronto started reaching out, offering advice on such topics as finding beef purveyors and making it as a woman in the business.

The sense of support has been welcome in the male-dominated industry.

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New York Magazine: Weekend Escape Plan: Fly Fishing in Missoula, Montana. Head to Big Sky country in western Montana for rugged adventures without giving up the creature comforts of urban life. Here I show you where to sleep, where to fly fish, what to eat, and an oddball day. 

I had so much fun fly fishing on the Clark Fork River. It's where "A River Runs Though It" was filmed, and is totally iconic Big Sky Country.

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New York Magazine: Weekend Escape Plan: Slow Down in Todos Santos. There’s new development and a growing tourist scene here, but this Baja Peninsula haven for surfers and artists still offers plenty of unspoiled charm.

I've been back to Baja several times since this piece, and I love it more every visit.

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New York Magazine: Department of Deportment: How (and Why) to Dine Solo. I used to write a column for New York Magazine called the Department of Deportment, which was all about modern day dining etiquette.

This was one of my favorite installments, especially as a solo traveler. Daniel Halpern even wrote in with fan mail, which got me totally stoked! 

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New York Magazine: Department of Deportment: How To Split A Check, Once And For All. It’s a depressingly familiar situation: After a meal with a group of friends, the check arrives, and out come the smart phone calculators and the angry recriminations. The back of the receipt is turned into a miniature accounting ledger. Inevitably, the money comes up short, and a friendly meal ends with a bitter taste. Here's how to deal.

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Mashable: How Chefs in the US Are Combatting Food Waste. In an attempt to reduce astronomical waste in the industry, leaders are applying innovative techniques to turn vegetable scraps and what’s known as “seconds” — produce that isn’t deemed visually fit for the market — into stunning meals.

And we're not talking a tiny amount of trash. Author of American Wasteland Jonathan Bloom says there’s about a half-pound of food waste created per meal served in restaurants. Nonprofit End Food Waste Now estimates the average restaurant produces 150,000 pounds of garbage per year. France recently recognized the issue, requiring all edible food from supermarkets to be donated to charities rather than sent to the landfill.

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Mashable: Did I Inadvertently Create The Frose Trend? Circa 2015, rosé was having its moment. No longer that saccharine stuff your great aunt swilled by the box, it became 100% socially acceptable to drink dry (meaning less sweet) pink wine any time, any place. So I decided to make a slushie recipe for the summer.

And now, two years later, it's on pretty much every single restaurant menu. Not saying, just saying. 

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Mashable: Turn Your Thanksgiving Leftovers Into Turducken Ramen. Denver-based chef Justin Cucci developed this dish for his seasonal a seasonal treat to take care of your holiday leftovers, 

The recipe was created as a restaurant staff meal originally, which means it’s malleable to your preferences and available ingredients.