September-October 2009


Sinatra sang that if you can make it here, you’ll make it anywhere. (How ’bout if you make it here during a recession and the greatly over-reported death of print media?) Well break out the birthday candle and start spreading the news: Edible Manhattan is hereby one year old.

We have found, as Old Blue Eyes so rightly crooned, that it really is up to you, New York. And in this issue we tell the stories of a few New Yorkers who grab the food world and make a brand new start of it.

Thirty years ago one young couple felt they could do a far finer job reviewing restaurants than those insider epicures doling out stars. With a quick mimeographed survey (get a load of the original on p. 32) Tim and Nina Zagat invented culinary crowdsourcing, inspired endless imitators, and “forever changed” the “way” we “decide” where to “eat.”

Chef Bill Telepan also decided to take matters into his own hands—not fine dining (with which he’s been wowing us for a decade or two) but quite the opposite: the (irradiated) meat of the matter on his daughter’s cafeteria tray. Rather than criticize the fare from afar, he dived into the belly of the lunchtime beast, determined to change it one lettuce leaf at a time. (Speaking of lunch, corporate foodservice is getting a makeover too. Move over, Jell-O cups—the new power lunch is both ecological and delectable.)

Perhaps my favorite story in this issue is the tale of Tuthilltown Spirits, our state’s first distillery since Prohibition. Up in the Hudson Valley two entrepreneurs have painstakingly built a still—and a brand—by hand. Take a swig of their fine spirits and you’ll feel those little town blues all melting away.

But let’s be Frank. We are delighted and humbled by the warm welcome our little magazine has found, and owe a debt of gratitude to our contributors, advertisers and you, dear reader. You’re king of the hill. Top of the heap.

Happy harvest season!

Spore Score. Photo credit: Ramin Talaie.