On her start in food writing:
I grew up in New York, and my mom was an adventurous, experimental, really good cook who was always making meals from scratch and reading Gourmet and Bon Appetit. So, from a young age, I think that naturally started to shape me and make me interested in food, but I never thought I wanted to be a restaurant critic.
I wanted to write the Great American Novel, but I needed to support myself, so after teaching English in Japan for a year, a friend asked if I wanted to move to Boston, and I thought ‘sure, why not’ and moved in the mid-90s. When I got here, I decided I’d try and get an editorial job, so I first worked for a tiny magazine, and then at Boston’s (now defunct) alt-weekly, The Phoenix.
After a few years writing about food at The Phoenix, I got hired by the Boston Globe as a copy editor on its Living/Arts desk. But the food section fell under our purview, so I became friends with the food editor and I remember thinking of this ridiculously punny headline -- I think it was Ponzu Scheme -- and the editor was like ‘you should write a story so you can use this headline.’ That’s how I started writing for her and food section, through my ridiculous headline.