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Save Your Local Food Writers

From the Editor: Goddamn you if you take away an alt weekly restaurant critic

The latest print cover for LA Weekly
Photo: LA Weekly

This post originally appeared on December 2, 2017, in Amanda Kludt’s newsletter “From the Editor,” a roundup of the most vital news and stories in the food world each week. Read the archives and subscribe now.

This past Wednesday, LA Weekly food editor Katherine Spiers lost her job alongside everyone else on staff (save one editor). On November 3, Houston Press food editor Gwendolyn Knapp lost her job alongside everyone else on staff (save the editor-in-chief). One day earlier, all of the reporters and editors at the DNAinfo and Gothamist networks around the country — many of whom covered restaurant openings and food-related stories in their beat reporting — lost their jobs when the owner of their publications laid everyone off.

We’re seeing belt tightening and consolidation in other major national food brands, but it’s the local and regional pubs I worry for. I may or may not even notice if two sister food magazines combine recipe testers or copy editors or even editors-in-chief, as sad as it is. But goddamn you if you take away an alt weekly restaurant critic. Or that reporter attending the liquor license hearings. Or if you trim the pages of my food section.

Listen: An excess of useless food and restaurant content persists across print, digital, and social platforms. Not all food media needs to exist. But I’ll never celebrate the demise of a local rag or the layoff of a great beat reporter, even if they compete with one of Eater’s own local sites.

Inside Miami’s First-Ever Food Hall in Wynwood
Photo by Giovanny Guiterrez

Opening of the Week: 1-800-LUCKY

Who’s behind it?: The crew behind Miami nightlife destination and taqueria Coyo Taco.

What is it?: A 10,000-square-foot food hall with Japanese, Vietnamese, and Chinese vendors.

Where is it?: Wynwood, Miami.

When did it open?: Wednesday, November 29.

Why should I care?: It’s Miami’s first food hall, but will be one of many open in that town by the end of the winter. And while it might be one of the first new-fangled Asian food halls in the states that I’ve heard of, there’s another one coming to Houston next year from a different developer.

Shopping for the food obsessive in your life just got a whole lot easier!
Photo by Hannah Whitaker

A Gift Guide Interlude

In my experience, the best gift to get for literally anyone is food related. Spouse who has everything, cousin you never speak to, sister who’s always changing hobbies, father who doesn’t like the same books as you — just get ‘em all a food thing.

If you need some help, we have a mega, all-encompassing annual gift guide, as well as city-specific guides in Austin, Charleston, Denver, Miami, New York, Seattle, the Twin Cities, Washington, D.C., and Detroit. My contribution was this kouign amann from Manresa, which is probably the best thing I’ve ever eaten this year. And I can personally vouch for the cuteness of the Shake Shack plushies, which are currently on the couch in our office.

Can’t get enough of holiday shopping? We also have a pop-up gift guide newsletter with never-before-seen Eater faves, AND an IRL holiday market for you readers in New York.

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