Meet The New New Times Food Critic, Melissa McCart

After going six-plus months without a food critic in-house, New Times has hired a gem: Melissa McCart, who will be leaving Washington, DC to join us.

Her resume is nothing shabby. She began her career as a high school English teacher working in New York, Virginia, and even Berlin. Eventually she abandoned that gig to become a not-quite-starving artist, writing freelance articles about food for the Washington Post, Washington City Paper, NBC's The Feast, Gourmet.com, and Martha Stewart Living. She also wrote a blog, cleverly titled Counter Intelligence, and worked on a book about chefs.

Her favorite foods are oysters, artichokes, crostada, crab, mussels, and pate: things that can be broken open, split apart, slurped, and spread.

"I am so excited to be in a real city," she said via phone, confusing us because we typically think of Washington as a major city, especially compared to the humble burg of Fort Liquordale (not to dis its status as "The Venice of America"). She explained, "Washington is a collection of wonky people from all over the country," contrasting its population of power-suited zombies with the fascinating variety of characters who have collected in South Florida naturally, like so many specks of sand at the edge of an outdoor shower drain.

"I'm also looking forward to the weather, after a couple years of brutal snowstorms here," McCart said. And food-wise? She'll be devouring seafood. "My father's retirement job is fishing, I grew up fishing, and just being by the shore will be so wonderful."  She's also looking forward to discovering our vast array of ethnic eateries -- even if they are tucked in suburban shopping plazas and not fancy downtown skyscrapers. "Florida seems to have much more interesting -- especially lowbrow and mid-range -- options. DC does well with fine dining but there are many gaps. It's hard to get a good taco in DC."

Look for her to begin in early August.  She'll be writing our weekly long-form restaurant reviews and blogging frequently here on CleanPlateCharlie.com.



Follow Clean Plate Charlie on Facebook and on Twitter: @CleanPlateBPB.

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18 comments
Chaz Stevens, Genius
Chaz Stevens, Genius

She appears to be eating pizza off the floor.  Which, contrary to public sentiment, puts her off to a great start in my book.

Any dame that can roll around on the ground covered in pepperoni can tell me where to find a best PB&J in town.

Toni
Toni

Hope she has the same passion for food as jon Linn, clean plate charlie has been pretty weak lately, lets talk more restaurants and less bs food news

effiedilbeck
effiedilbeck

I just found a place called "Printapon" where I can get my fav. restaurant coupon for 90% off!! all you have to do is just print and take it.

Mariedarien
Mariedarien

The New Times passed over one voice that gets it in the South Florida area.

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Fred
Fred

Hopefully she won't lose her soul to the South Florida shill machine. 

Fat Hand
Fat Hand

Please do not bother with Palm Beach. Focus on Broward, preferably Ft. Lauderdale, using 95 as your western barrier, 84 to the South and Oakland Park to the North. Thanks.J/k Palm Beachers.I look forward to your work.

Dhooverdch
Dhooverdch

Looking foward to it.  Job well done the past six months.

freakerdude
freakerdude

Ft. Lauderdale will not be near as exciting, 'culinarily' speaking. And it is truly lacking in most of your ethnic options, mainly Indian and Korean.

I agree, this is the Broward-Palm Beach New Times. Please represent us up north, even up in PB Gardens and Jupiter.

Wpb9110
Wpb9110

Unfollowing now as u read this.

Jeff Greene
Jeff Greene

Hopefully she is as great a critic as Gail shepherd was and it would also be nice if discontinues new times BPB habit of barely including west palm/palm beach county.

Larry
Larry

You have to question the wisdom of posting a picture of your new "critic" before she starts. I mean, aren't critics supposed to be anonymous? 

Fred
Fred

What good is a passion for food, if you can't trust the writer's judgement? 

Flako2k3
Flako2k3

Hopefully? Likely! How's a girl from DC going to even begin to eat her way into the South Florida dining scene? Good luck. Gourmet and Martha Stewart, huh? Yeah, great job whoever hired her...that's the voice the New Times is looking for?

Larry
Larry

They can't compete with the PB Post. 

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Fred
Fred

Gail was/is a great writer; I wouldn't call her a great critic. Her and John just care about how they sound to themselves. Jen Keretnick was really good.

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