Rachel Wharton is the former deputy editor of Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan. She won a 2010 James Beard food journalism award, holds a master’s degree in Food Studies from New York University, and has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and reporter. A North Carolina native and a former features food reporter for the New York Daily News, she edited the Edible Brooklyn cookbook and was the co-author of both Handheld Pies and DiPalo's Guide to the Essential Foods of Italy. Her work also appears in publications such as The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Saveur.

    As Hunts Point Produce Workers Prepare to Strike, We Ponder the Positives

    In case you missed it in yesterday’s Daily News and on WYNC.com today, the members of Teamsters Union Local 202 are threatening a possible walkout at Hunts Point Terminal Market on January 17. According to the reports the 1,200 workers who work at the wholesale food market in the South Bronx are protesting a proposed 14 cent per hour wage increase after three years at the same pay rate.

    Our New Alcohol Issue is Now Up Online

    We know, we know, you’re fasting until February and aren’t consuming any carbs or alcohol until the holiday hangover finally dissipates. But you can still read about drinking, right? Good, because our new issue is all about alcohol and is now out on the streets (at these fine locations) and is also available right here online. Look for stories on stellar sakes, the Negroni’s new lease on life, the history of the Subway cocktail, the city’s tiniest brewery, the city’s oldest brew-pub, Bemelman’s bar, bitters on draft and in tiny bottles, and a lot more.

    Is Brooklyn’s Food Culture Better? Express Your Opinion at the Next Tenement Museum Talk

    When we published Edible Brooklyn: The Cookbook back in October, we intended for it to be a community cookbook, a snapshot via 100 collected recipes from the cooks in our community, be they restaurant chefs, gardeners, grandmothers, pickle-makers, cheesemongers, brewers, bakers or baristas. Needless to say that’s sparked plenty of discussion on what real Brooklyn food is. We’re going to let you help us decide with the help of a panel of four Brooklyn food experts and cookbook contributors on January 17 at the Tenement Museum.

    Beyond Bread: The Blue Ribbon Bakery Brick Oven Game Dinner

    In our last issue we wrote about the 1860 brick oven, shown left, the brothers Bromberg found below the Downing Street property that became their Blue Ribbon bakery back in 1994. Until they spotted the corroded door to the 140-year-old wood-burning beast, they’d planned to open a coffeeshop. Now it’s not their cappuccinos but their crusty loaves that are well known–thanks to the oven’s 700-degree temps–but next month Blue Ribbon plans to crisp something else in the oven for a change: that being prime meats.

    Edible Lunch: The Watermelon Radish and White Anchovy Salad from Jeffrey’s Grocery

    These are the literal salad days of the year–meaning the ones when all the tabloids talk up their dieting hotlines and 16 six steps to a perfect bathing suit bod, to the salads and smoothies that are the perfect antidote to all that holiday roast beef and whiskey-kicked egg nog. We were never that keen on dieting in the new year–cassoulet season comes but once, after all–but salad is something we can get behind any time. And with all due respect to tomatoes and sweet corn, we’ve always been partial to the ones that appear when it’s frigid. When the crunch of radish and fennel bulb and kohlrabi start making it into the bowl, you might lose a little color, but gain texture in in spades.

    Bulk Mail: Help Doug Wood Send a Million Anti-Fracking Letters to Gov. Cuomo

    It might not be true that Gov. Cuomo will stop plans for fracking in New York State if he receives a million letters against the natural gas drilling technique, but the rumor is good news to folks like Doug Wood, who launched amillionfrackingletters.com back in September. The site was set up to send hundreds of letters to Albany (and as many phone calls, with luck) urging the Governor to ban hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking. Wood runs the Port Washington, Long Island-based nonprofit Grassroots Environmental Education with his wife Patti, and fracking has long been one of their touchstone issues. He got the idea for the campaign from a random comment likely made in jest from a Cuomo staffer.

    U.K. Dispatch–In This Beer Loving Culture, We Can Hold Our Own

    LONDON–For years we’d thought of this city’s lovely old-fashioned taverns and tap rooms as the holy grail of good beer, thanks to the Campaign for Real Ale launched back in 1971, when most of us Americans were still guzzling Bud in pop-top cans. The group, now called CAMRA, was founded by four drinkers concerned about the growing number of mass produced-pints and the homogenization of both beer and the pubs where Brits drank them.

    Want a Career Change? Apply for Columbia’s MA Program in Health and Science Journalism by January 15

    This is generally the time of year for daydreaming about self-improvement, career changes and the future. That’s why we wanted to pass along a note we received from Columbia Journalism School about their nine-month Robert Wood Johnson Foundation MA Program in Health and Science Journalism. It’s for those who want to focus on science, health, or environmental reporting, either experienced journalists in other fields or those who already cover science.

    Happy New Year from Edible Manhattan

    Happy New Year from all of us at Edible Manhattan: May 2012 be a delicious and memorable year, from the tiny fiddleheads of early spring to the sweet corn of late summer–and every single New York City slice eaten in between.

    Happy Holidays from Edible Manhattan!

    At this time of year, we like to quote our good friend Jimmy Carbone, the owner of Jimmy’s 43 in the East Village–which’ll be hosting a Christmas Day feast with the owners of Green Flash Brewing, should you have no place to be on Sunday. As the good man says: “Merry Merry, Happy Happy.” To you and yours this holiday weekend!

    Free Tomorrow Night? Take the Noshwalks Snacking Tour of the Holiday Lights of Dyker Heights

    We first took one of Myra Alperson’s food tours nearly a decade ago–we spent a day snacking around Astoria, in Queens–and were instantly impressed by her knowledge of city eats and streets. Alperson puts out a great printed newsletter of her finds called NoshNews (which would make a great last-minute gift) and also gives guided walk-about tours called Noshwalks of the city’s most interesting food neighborhoods. The last one of 2011, tomorrow night, is holiday-centric and one we highly recommend.

    Congrats to Chef Jason Weiner, Who Cooks on Two Islands and Was Winner of Last Night’s Latke Cook-Off

    Congratulations to chef Jason Weiner of Almond restaurant–there’s one in both Bridgehampton in Long Island and on East 22nd Street–who won last night’s Edible Brooklyn/Great Performances latke fest and cook-off at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. We’re especially pleased that Weiner’s latke, a last-minute entry, was topped with smoked bluefish caught by one of his Long Island staffers, and that it was mama Weiner’s recipe: An Edible-minded creation if there ever was one.