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Woah, Mama, Can This Really Be the End? A Farewell

To be stuck inside Stone Barns with the Wintry Blues Again
To be stuck inside Stone Barns with the Wintry Blues Again
Photo: Joshua David Stein

Good morning. This is the 184th time I have spoken to you from this website, where so many decisions have been made that shaped the history of this Eater National. Each time I have done so to discuss with you some matter that I believe affected the Eater National interest.

I shall resign the Senior Editorship of Eater National effective at noon today. Paula Forbes and Raphael Brion shall begin the search for my replacement immediately. Effective Monday, February 22nd, I formally begin my new role as Senior Travel Editor at Departures Magazine. I'll be covering travel, food, books, art, and all sorts of other interesting matter. Sweeeeeeet!!!

I leave Eater not without regret nor absent sadness. But I also leave with great hope and excitement not just for my own (dewy!) future but also for what Eater National is becoming: a new model of online food journalism. This model uses the freedom and flexibility of the web not for flashdance scoopism, reckless, mindless and heedless of fact, but to foster real discussions and genuine interactions. That is, we use the limitless online space to say more, not less more often. Though I have often been too quick, too flip, and wrong too, I'm inordinately proud of what I have done to bring Eater closer to this ideal.

What I'm most proud of — and what I think embodies this new model best — is my interview series, Eaterrogation. Through them I've had the privilege to speak to many of  the food world's brightest names. I've found them by turns coy, funny, frustrating, brilliant, honest, and vulnerable. In a word, human.

I will always remember wandering the Lower East Side with René Redzepi, a rainy ballpark in Wisconsin with Sara Moulton, sitting in an empty ballroom with Mario Batali, in a food court with Nigella Lawson, under a thatch roof in Puerto Rico with Alain Ducasse, and in the bowels of Le Bernardin with Eric Ripert. Hopefully, the interviews were as fun to read as they were to write.

In parting, I want to thank the entire Eater team — Raphael Brion, Paula Forbes, Lockhart Steele, Amanda Kludt in particular — for giving me the keys to Moveable Type and a monthly check. I'd like to thank the chefs, and their cadre of PR kin who have spent hours both wrangling talent and arranging rendezvous, for taking the time to sit, wander and talk with me.

And obviously, most importantly of all, the Eater National readers, both those who have been supportive (for, well, being supportive) and those largely anonymous souls who haven't (for thickening my skin and teaching me how to let go).

To all, I say: Nothing remains except my posts. I gave you my life, now I give you my resignation. I choose this way to defend you, for my soul will be with you, my name shall be a flag for your struggle.(...) Serenely, I take my first step on the road to Departures and I leave Eater National to enter History.

Oh, and you can still reach me at joshuadavidstein@gmail.com, on Twitter, where I'm @fakejoshstein, and on IM, where I remain, twicethemanasyou.