I’m Stephanie, Eater’s new editor-in-chief, and I’m excited to be taking over this newsletter from Amanda Kludt, who now serves as the website’s publisher. I’ll continue to round up the most important food news on and off Eater, but I’m also going to expand the roster of voices featured here, with mini interviews, guest takeovers, and behind-the-scenes intel on our biggest projects.
At Eater, we have a tradition of introducing new hires with three fun facts. In honor of this, I’m dedicating my first newsletter to some food-related facts about me.
1. I grew up in Taipei, a city I consider the street food capital of the world.
As a child, I didn’t put much thought into the food I was eating. At school, we were given a choice between “Western” and “Eastern” options: Western leaned into generic American and European fare, and Eastern was typically rice with a braised protein. This is a strange dichotomy, but one that introduced me to a variety of cuisines — I’m not sure I would have been exposed to dishes like shepherd’s pie or meatloaf otherwise.
Though I lived in a city renowned for its street food culture, where vendors sell everything from scallion pancake wraps to pig’s blood cakes, you always crave what you can’t have. I looked forward to trips to Los Angeles, where I had family, to visit chains like In-N-Out, eat mall food (Jamba Juice and Auntie Anne’s), and stock up on Hot Pockets. It wasn’t until I moved to New York City that I realized how special Taiwanese food is, and how I had taken it for granted. Now, visits home revolve around where we’re eating, whether it’s mom-and-pop breakfast shops serving soy milk and fried crullers, oyster omelets at the night market, or Michelin-starred meals.
2. If I could only eat one food group for the rest of my life, it would be noodles.
There are a lot of contenders for my favorite type of food, from sushi to dumplings to bread, but if I had to pick, it would be the imminently versatile noodle. Noodles can be eaten stir-fried, with sauce, or in soup, and they’re found in cuisines from Italian to Japanese and beyond. I’m partial to dan dan noodles, which get their flavors from minced pork and Sichuan peppercorn.
3. My dining habits have shifted greatly in the past year.
So many of my meals now revolve around my one-year-old son. I’m constantly brainstorming ways to introduce foods to him — spinach pancakes have been a hit recently — and pushing the boundaries of kid-friendly food. (He’s recently become a big fan of pork and cabbage dumplings.) I’ve also adjusted my dining habits to embrace the 5 p.m. meal, so he can join us when we eat out and we can still get home early enough for bedtime. Restaurant editor Hillary Dixler Canavan rounded up some of the best baby-feeding gear from Target earlier this year, and I’ve started my own mental checklist of travel-friendly restaurant gear.
We visited Patti Ann’s in Brooklyn recently (props to our friends at Grub Street for this spot-on headline: “At Patti Ann’s, the Kids’ Menu is the Only Menu”). Not only were we surrounded by other parents of young children enjoying the first seating of the night, but the servers seemed delighted by their interactions with the kids, and no diner, no matter their age, was made to feel out of place. It’s one of the first times in a while I can remember feeling completely at ease at a restaurant while dining with my son.
Below, you’ll find links to recent food stories worth a read. I’ll be back in your inbox in two weeks; in the meantime, I’d love to know what you’d like to see more of from this newsletter. And if you liked this email, please forward it to a friend or encourage them to sign up here.
- We’re officially in summer, my favorite season. To celebrate, Eater at Home is dedicating the next few weeks to eating outside. I love Dayna Evans’s suggestion to make your picnic contribution a group-friendly dip.
- Eater NY dived into how TikTok has impacted New York City’s food scene, from creating lines outside restaurants to challenging millennial Instagrammers to rethink their relevance. Don’t miss critic Ryan Sutton’s night out with a TikTok influencer at Zou Zou’s.
- This video of Mike Solomonov and team at Zahav in Philadelphia made me want to book a reservation immediately. July reservations are sold out, so I guess I’m trying again next month for August!
- Jaya Saxena’s review of Eleven Madison Park’s vegan meal kit pairs on-point cultural criticism with an in-depth look at exactly what $300 gets you.
- Meet the new generation of Cambodian American doughnut entrepreneurs in Los Angeles.
- As a fan of Sanzo, I found this guide to fancy sodas by Amy McCarthy incredibly useful.
- Eater London interviews the restaurateur behind a world-famous butter chicken — and discovers how an attempt to make it vegetarian informed the dish it is today.
- Speaking of London, Rachel P. Kreiter has a rundown of the tea and biscuits to enjoy if you’re going to be glued to your TV watching Platinum Jubilee events all weekend.
- Where are you headed this summer? We’ve got you covered with guides to California Gold Country, Georgia, and the Connecticut shore.
- The New York Times is now fully back to defending Guy Fieri — and somehow I still can’t get enough of these profiles.
- VinePair reports on how family-friendly restaurants are finally taking cocktails seriously.
- Our sister publication, Punch, put together an essential guide to bitters.
- Alyssa Rosenberg documents the true cost of breastfeeding in the Washington Post.