Writing

I struck out as a freelance writer in January 2015, after four years as a writer and editor at Eater. Here are a few of my favorite pieces:

Superior Motors Was Supposed to Revive This Pennsylvania Town. So What Happened? Eater, June 1, 2017
Pittsburgh has waited a long time for chef Kevin Sousa to open his restaurant in the blighted borough of Braddock, PA. In a follow-up to my 2015 feature, I looked into how Superior Motors stalled out and what it means to the community now that it’s back on track.

Inside Amazon’s Grand Plan to Control How You Eat, Thrillist, May 10, 2017
Amazon is gunning to be a competitor in the food industry — from online grocery to restaurant delivery to meal kits. This piece explores what will happen to the food system under Amazon’s watch.

This DC Chef Is Leading the Lao Food Movement, Tasting Table, April 17, 2017
Thip Khao’s Seng Luangrath on her unlikely path from refugee to star chef.

Inside the Push to Give Ex-Offenders in Pennsylvania a Second Chance, Pacific Standard, March 28, 2017
Lawmakers and activists are leading an effort to open up expungement and sealing laws for misdemeanor convictions in the Keystone State.

Food Waste Becomes Delicious Meals with an Agenda at Rooster Soup, Civil Eats, February 16, 2017
Why one Philadelphia restaurant is turning food waste from the popular Federal Donuts into soup — then giving 100% of its profits to charity.
*I had fun doing a short radio interview about this story with the folks at 60dB

How Lunch Became a Pile of Bologna, Eater, December 2, 2016
A brief history of America’s controversial lunchmeat.

The Fitness Gospel of Billy Blanks, Racked, September 15, 2016
Tae Bo founder Billy Blanks was a fitness icon in the ’90s, beloved by celebrities and soccer moms. Now planning his comeback, can Blanks connect with a new generation?

Democratic National Convention coverage, Pacific Standard, July 2016
On the sidelines of the 2016 DNC, I wrote about the protesters searching for hope, shadowed a local politician fighting for progress, analyzed whether we are forever trapped in political gridlock, and watched Hillary Clinton’s nomination speech at a women’s history party with suffragette cocktails.

Eastern State Penitentiary and the Critique of Mass Incarceration, Pacific Standard, July 19, 2016
A look inside the new mass incarceration exhibit at Philadelphia’s prison-turned-museum, Eastern State Penitentiary. How can museums address contemporary issues?

Dispatch from Philadelphia: The City Prepares for a Soda Tax, Civil Eats, June 30, 2016
On the heels of the city council’s approval of a 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary beverages, I talked to the stakeholders about what it means for them.

How Two Philadelphia Chefs Are Pushing for Immigration Reform—Starting in the Kitchen, Pacific Standard, June 6, 2016
A profile of husband-and-wife team Cristina Martinez and Ben Miller, who have moved beyond barbacoa to fighting for undocumented workers in kitchens citywide.

Amidst the Rubble of Bedrock City, The Awl, March 24, 2016
How two doomed Flintstones theme parks reflect the rise and fall of the cartoon.

Sikh Actor Waris Ahluwalia Takes a Stand Against Airport Discrimination, Travel + Leisure, February 21, 2016
Grand Budapest Hotel actor Waris Ahluwalia was famously barred from returning to the US when he declined to remove his turban, a religious garment, in public. What went wrong?

In Vietnam, Pho Is a Breakfast Tradition Changing With the Times, Eater, February 16, 2016
For Eater’s Breakfast Week, a look at how pho reflects the rhythms of a nation.

The Magic of the Annual Harry Potter Conference, Pacific Standard, November 9, 2015
Arguing for the legitimacy of Harry Potter studies at this annual academic conference.

Dining in the Wilderness: The Restaurants of America’s National Parks, Eater, August 28, 2015
How dining rooms from Yosemite to the Grand Canyon feed 292 million visitors a year.

Road-tripping Across the American South, One Restaurant at a Time, Travel + Leisure, April 2015
In 10 days, I ate my way from North Carolina to Louisiana and back again

Scenes From Four Wage Protests Across the Country, Eater, April 16, 2015
Eater asked reporters and illustrators in cities nationwide to document local Fight for $15 labor protests. I attended a rally at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C., where the refrain of “dignity, equality, and freedom” was imbued with especial meaning.

The Culinary Education of Class 98, Eater, April 15, 2015
I spent three months shadowing a class at the DC Central Kitchen to learn how a culinary nonprofit can reduce recidivism.

If You Build It, Will They Come?, Eater, January 21, 2015
On how one Pittsburgh chef hopes to rebuild a community around a restaurant.

Tent Revival, Eater, November 12, 2014
Noma chef René Redzepi founded MAD Symposium to spark an international culinary revolution. Has he succeeded?