Editor. Writer, Photographer. Pizza obsessive. Professionally-trained cook. Travel. Digital.

I am the managing editor for Mouth.com, an online indie food site that sells unique, high-quality snacks, sweets, spirits, and other small-batch foods and drinks.

I’m a seasoned food and travel journalist with culinary training, restaurant savvy, and seven years of experience in online food writing. I helped launch The Daily Meal as founding Eat/Dine editor and as its executive editor from 2012 through 2015, I managed a staff of 16 editors and led daily and annual strategy for content, SEO, social engagement, and tent poles across 10 verticals (Cook, Best Recipes, Drink, Eat/Dine, Healthy Eating, Entertain, Holidays, Travel, Video and Lists), guiding it to more than 14 million unique visitors a month.

In addition to writing recipes, food essays, restaurant news and reviews, and interviewing chefs and food personalities while at The Daily Meal, I also conceived and penned many of its prestige pieces and highest-trafficked articles, managing voting on annual coverage of the 101 best restaurants and 101 best pizzas in America.

FREELANCE FOOD WRITING As a freelancer, I penned the intro for Rough Guides’ 2009 South America on a Budget, and traveled to Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana and Brazil to research and review restaurants, bars, and hotels in São Paulo, Brasília, Salvador, Cayenne, and Paramaribo among other cities. I’ve also written about New York for Fodor’s Travel Guides and researched recipes for The New York Times Jewish Cookbook.

In addition to articles for The Daily Meal, I’ve written about food for Travel + Leisure, TimeOut New York, Tasting Table and The New York Times. My writing has been covered by national and local networks and online publications, and been syndicated on MSN, Yahoo!, CNN, USA Today, AOL, The Huffington Post and FOX.

EXPERTISE I’ve been consulted for food and travel expertise by news organizations, spoken on panels about digital food journalism and social media, and appeared on national and local radio and television including Today. I’ve judged for local and national food and spirit competitions including the South Beach Wine & Food Festival’s Best of the Munchies: Peoples Choice Food Awards, San Antonio’s annual Paella Challenge, the Scottsdale Culinary Festival’s Challenge to the Chefs, and Hoboken’s first annual Mutzfest.

I’m a seasoned food and travel journalist with culinary training, real-world restaurant savvy, seven years of experience in the online food world and a journalism background that started at The New York Times.

Previous to The Daily Meal, I was senior editor, lead writer and photographer for AlwaysHungryNY, a James Beard Award-nominated daily restaurant search engine and daily blog launched by now Major Food Group managing partner Jeff Zalaznick. AlwaysHungryNY was acquired in 2010 by Spanfeller Media Group to create The Daily Meal.

THE NEW YORK TIMES My journalism career began at The New York Times in 2000, where I spent more than five years as a news assistant and contributing writer, and in the wake of the Jayson Blair scandal, helped Daniel Okrent, the paper’s first ombudsman, create the office of the Public Editor. In addition to being detached as lead reporter for Metro’s Neediest Cases for two years, I did general reporting for Metro, Escapes, City Weekly, National, Culture, the Investigative Desk, Business and Long Island Weekly, wrote obits, wedding announcements, dining roundups, advertising briefs, did city stringing assignments on accidents and murders, wrote articles like my front page Metro story about the nation’s gifts to firefighters after 9/11 and an adventure seeking out centuries-old stones along the Boston Post Road from New York City to Massachusetts.

OFFICE OF THE PUBLIC EDITOR I attended the ONO (Organization of News Ombudsmen) conference in St. Petersburg, Florida in 2004 with Okrent, and addressed more than 50,000 reader concerns about Times coverage while doing my best to remain even-tempered. It was a stint that earned me an internet footprint including being quoted by conservative social and political commentators like Ann Coulter. The job once even landed me in the New York Post’s Page Six.

DINING SECTION Before leaving The Times in 2006 to pursue full-time restaurant kitchen experience, I was the news assistant for The Times’ Dining section. By day I did fact-checking for Off the Menu columnist Florence Fabricant and then restaurant critic, Frank Bruni, and at night, I attended the French Culinary Institute (now the International Culinary Center). I was occasionally a dinner guest on Times reviews with Frank Bruni and Peter Meehan, including Irving Mill, Mr Chow TriBeCa, Co., Blue Hill New YorkP.J. Clarke’s on the Hudson, MorimotoForge, Bamonte’s, Pies and Thighs, Eleven Madison Park and L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon.

IN THE KITCHEN In 2006, determined to specialize in food writing, I graduated from a ten-month Classic Culinary Arts program at the International Culinary Center in SoHo, an experience I chronicled on my now-retired blog, Kitchen Toro. Wanting to get real-world restaurant experience, I left The Times to work at Michael O’Keeffe’s waterfront icon The Water Club, followed by a year as garde manger at Pearl Oyster Bar and line cook at Ed’s Lobster Bar, an experience I wrote about in an unpublished book called Lobster Wars that documented what became an A1 story by now restaurant critic Pete Wells on the front page of The New York Times.

TRAVEL I’m an avid traveler and food seeker who believes in the value of actually visiting restaurants I write about. In 2004, I fulfilled a longtime goal of driving cross-country from L.A. to New York, and I’ve since eaten extensively around America, always on the lookout for the best burgers, tacos, doughnuts, pizza, and fine dining. I’ve attended and written about national food events including the New York City Wine & Food, South Beach Wine & Food, Portland’s Feast, Los Angeles Food & Wine, Atlanta Food & WinePalm Beach Food & Wine and Scottsdale Culinary festivals. I also covered Madrid Fusión in Spain in 2015.

I’ve also eaten my way around the world, traveling to Asia (China, Japan, Thailand, Bali, Korea and Singapore), the Middle East (Egypt) and extensively in Europe, where I backpacked solo for four months seeking out great food in Great Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, and Denmark (I’ve also visited Greece, Norway, Ireland, Sweden and Scotland). In addition to travel writing my way across the Guianas and Brazil, I’ve also visited Mexico, Barbados, Trinidad, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas and Cuba.

ABOUT My first restaurant review was published in 1984 in the local Pennysaver about Friendly’s when I was seven years old. I was born in Queens (where there is good pizza), grew up in Hong Kong (where there wasn’t), went to high school at Friends Academy on Long Island (where we’d have pizzas delivered behind the field house), graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, Theology, and Studio Art from Georgetown University in Washington D.C. (where the best pizza at the time was the jumbo slice at Pizza Mart) where I first met my Texan wife Angela Moore (who knows only too well my pizza affliction), and with whom I live in Alphabet City (where the best pizza delivery is from Gruppo, the best pies within walking distance are at Rubirosa. My wife and I grow apples, herbs, and all kinds of summer vegetables in our East Village garden, including corn, which led to me being mentioned in the same sentence as Ralph Waldo Emerson in The New York Times (hey, I’ll take it).

FOOD PHILOSOPHIES I believe New York City has the best pizza, Chicago has the best hot dogs, Texas has the best barbecue, and California has the best Asian and Mexican food. You don’t toast bagels that are worth eating, you don’t put ketchup on a hot dog, Shake Shack is better than In-N-Out, Chinese food in America doesn’t hold a candle to anything I tasted growing up in Hong Kong and China, and I could explore the food scenes in Mexico, India, Italy and Japan forever.

PHOTOGRAPHY My interests in photography and food converged in the launch of graffEATinyc.com, a food graffiti photography project, which was inspired in August of 2006 by a food tag, ‘Egg Yolk.’ Over the years, the site has documented more than 2,000 food graffiti tags throughout New York City.

 

To get in touch about freelance writing or photography projects, please reach out by email or hit me up on Twitter.

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