On Havana, Cuba

I recently published two article inspired by my trip to Cuba a few months ago and I wanted to share them. The first is suggestions for how one might spend two days in Havana for Paste, and the second, in Punch, is focused on an innovative nightclub and culture center, Fabrica de Arte Cubano, that I visited on my final night in the city. In such short pieces, and for disparate audiences, it is hard to capture the “real” Cuba that so many journalists and storytellers are seeking to write about, even as both are, of course, accurate and true.

Friend and journalist Julie Schwietert Collazo along with Havana-based Conner Gorry have spoken and written on how to report on Cuba responsibly, and I strive to have their recommendations in mind when I do. Challenges arise when faced with a publication that shies away from including political context, or pieces that are meant to fit into a specific format, or any number of issues inherent in journalism, or in writing about places and people with a perceived narrative that is at odds with the reality.

While these pieces reflect just a small slice of my experience in Havana, I hope I have done the city and its lovely people justice, and I look forward to sharing more in the future.


Do Locavores Get it Wrong? Thoughts on the book Just Food by James McWilliams

The term locavore has only existed in the English language since 2005. That’s barely 8 years, yet long enough to inspire legions of local eaters, “It’s Local!” labeling, memoirs documenting efforts to eat (almost) completely locally, as well as plenty … Continue reading

Beyond the Crock: On Lacto-Fermenting

I was very proud this fall when I finally got to use my Nani’s heavy, lacquered earthenware crock – the same one that she used to make the cherry brandy that my cousins and I would lick pooled from the … Continue reading

Locavore on the Road: Artisanal Cheese & the Marin County Cheese Trail

I’ve spent what would likely add to up to countless hours contemplating the purchase of various cheeses at locations ranging from Whole Foods to Stinky Bklyn to a “serve yourself” fridge on a country roadside in Western Massachusetts. I clearly remember … Continue reading

Keeping the Sustainable Food Discussion Relevant

Thanks to Stella Park, author of the Brave Tart blog, I read First We Feast’s meant-to-be-provocative article “20 Things Everyone Thinks About The Food World But Nobody Will Say”. Many of their points are long overdue for making it into … Continue reading

The Changing Meaning of Locavorism

The term locavore was coined in 2005 by Jessica Prentice, who, along with Sage Van Wing and Dede Sampson, made a commitment to eat only food sourced within a one-hundred-mile radius of their homes in Northern California. This effort was … Continue reading

“Coopetition” and the Spirit of Artisanal Food

I shouldn’t have been surprised in the least when Michaela Hayes, owner of Crock and Jar, a Brooklyn-based company that specializes in making pickles and the teaching the art of pickling and canning, said that a main tenet of her … Continue reading

On “Artisanal” and “Sustainable”

As I’m researching and writing my book Small Batch: The Fall and Rise of Artisanal Cheese, Chocolate, Pickles, and Alcoholic Spirits, I purposely chose the term “artisanal” in part because it seemed to be the best to represent that handmade, … Continue reading

An Everlasting Meal of Chicken Soup

Inspired by the poetic and lovely book An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler, I filled a pot with water and plunked in a salted, whole chicken. This might have seemed like blasphemy a week earlier. Boiled chicken had a very … Continue reading