The Food Of A Place


One of the things I like about this gig is observing how a region's food culture reflects the demographics, education, priorities, and values of the people who call it home. So when I was asked to write this week's review as a companion piece to Lee Klein's reflection on Miami, my response was the result of this question: What do our dining habits show about South Florida values right now?

While I don't have the experience living in South Florida for long to see as many shades as I'd like, I do have the writings of my predecessors for help, as well as plenty of servers, chefs, restaurateurs, and readers who have offered their own answers to the question when I've asked over the past couple of weeks.

Who else explores the culture of a place through the lens of how we eat? Anyone who writes about food, I'd say. Even bloggers illuminate their values and priorities.

Though I won't have a growing body of work from my predecessor John Linn next year as I did while writing this, I'll continue to ask, explore, and read how food defines places. Here are a few outside pieces I have turned to among many sources for inspiration. These guys are maestros.

Colum McCann's "Dessert"
Robert Sietsema's "He Nan Flavor: Noodle on Down"
Jonathan Gold's "Beefsteak at Vibiana"
Francis Lam's "Getting to Know Him"

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