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Atlanta's Article 14 Restaurant is Going Gourmet

Atlanta's Article 14 Restaurant is Going Gourmet

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In Atlanta, 14th and Peachtree, in the midtown section of the city is considered "Main at Main." Half a block west, on 14th Street, is Article 14, where the short and simple words that best describe the American cuisine created under the direction of Legacy Restaurant Partners’ highly regarded corporate chef Christopher Blobaum are "fresh," "simple," and "pure." However, with each dish, the one word that comes to mind over and over again is "insatiable."

Getting Started: Cocktails, Starters, and Small plates

A quick trip to Paris, by way of an $11 Champs-Élysées cocktail of Aylesbury Duck Vodka, St Germain, lemon, and rosé champagne, is the way to wet your whistle with a bubbly taste that's crisp and refreshing.

Next up, grilled local peaches ($7) are a great way to enjoy the end of the summer season. Balsamic vinegar adds the perfect balance to crispy, meaty, slightly charred grilled peaches. A dish so simple, yet so delicious.

On the menu for $11, the tuna and beet tartar resembles a quaint, cute, and colorful summer salad of watermelon and beets. But with bits of pickled daikon (a mild flavored radish from East Asia), in a drizzle of soy, chives, and olive oil, the infusion of flavors is further confirmation that the kitchen staff is full of culinary skill. As if the palate were not already awakened, the accompaniment of French breakfast radishes, cucumbers, cilantro, and spring greens to the $12 kampachi crudo doused in olive oil and salted to perfection will blow your mind.

While some may despise okra for its sometimes slimy consistency inside, at Article 14 okra chips ($5) are fried to a crunch and served with a smoked tomato aioli sauce for dipping. Sit these in front of anyone with some wings and a beer and the one who thought he or she hated okra the most will be the one to order the next round!

Two more definite highlights are the honey-glazed ribs ($10) and the $17 lobster roll. Ribs can be tricky. Whether the flavor will have been washed away or not is often a toss-up when ordering out. That's not the case at all here, where they’re perfectly spiced and falling off the bone. And the luscious, buttery, moist, and sweet clumps of lobster that get lifted by lemon mayonnaise and a pairing of house-made, kettle-style seasoned potato chips are even more euphoric with a glass of house reisling to sip.

A Correction For The New York Times From The Atlanta Journal & Constitution

The Times offered to print the last few paragraphs, leaving out any mention of Times free lance writer Stephen Birmingham's inaccuracies concerning Jim Montgomery, former Atlanta Constitution employee.

Times editors said the newspaper's rules forbid publishing on the editorial page letters commenting on articles that appear in the Times Sunday magazine.

An offer was made to print the complete letter in the magazine, but that could not be done for three weeks. Wishing to correct Birmingham's mistakes and the erroneous impression left by his article as soon as possible, The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution purchased this space.

Editors, The New York Times:

An article by Stephen Birmingham in The New York Times Sunday magazine of February 6 reported that “not long ago” former Atlanta Constitution business editor Jim Montgomery wrote a story on discrimination in private clubs in Atlanta and, as a result, was demoted to general assignment reporter “with a cut in salary.”

According to Birmingham, this occurred when Montgomery “was summoned” to the office of Atlanta Journal & Constitution publisher Jack Tarver “the morning after the story appeared.”

To even the most discerning reader, the phrase “not long ago” would indicate the alleged incident took place only weeks or, at the most, months ago.

The fact is that Montgomery's story on discrimination in private Atlanta clubs appeared in the Atlanta Constitution on May 16, 1969.

Nor was Montgomery summoned to the publisher's office.

The fact is that Tarver recalls stopping by the business desk on one of his walks through the newsroom and telling Montgomery that, in the interest of accuracy, he should have noted that former Atlanta Journal publisher John Cohen, one of Tarver's predecessors, had been not only a member but also president of Atlanta's Piedmont Driving Club in the thirties. The Driving Club had featured prominently in Montgomery's article as having no Jewish members.

Nor was Montgomery demoted from business editor to general assignment reporter with a cut in pay.

The facts are that Montgomery was transferred, at the same salary, from business editor to general assignment on September 1, 1969, a full three and a half months after the story cited by Birmingham appeared.

Ascribing Montgomeiy's transfer solely to the story in question is somewhat tenuous to say the least. Saying that he was transferred with a cut in pay is not true. Nor was he fired. Montgomery left the Constitution voluntarily September 19, 1969.

Birmingham telephoned William H. Fields, executive editor of the Journal & Constitution about 10 days before the Times article appeared. He told Fields his understanding was that Montgomery had been discharged from the Constitution.

Fields said this was not his recollection that he remembered Montgomery leaving the Constitution of his own accord. Birmingham asked Fields if he were absolutely certain of this fact. Fields replied he was reasonably certain, but, before being quoted, he would rather check out the matter.

Birmingham asked if Fields could have exact information later in the day and, if so, he would call again. Fields assured him he would have the information available.

Birmingham, never returned the call.

The Times article also described one of the Atlanta Journal & Constitution's owners, Mrs. Anne Cox Chambers, as being “Atlanta's most powerful society woman.” I can only characterize that statement as ridiculous.

Birmingham went on to say that Mrs. Chambers “runs” the Piedmont Balls. The purpose of the Piedmont Ball is to raise money for Atlanta's Piedmont Hospital. To say that Mrs. Chambers “runs” the Piedmont Ball is a gross exaggeration when one considers that in the long history of this charitable event, she served as chairman one year.

I also strongly resent the implication by Birmingham that The Atlanta Journal & Constitution are part of a “coalition” dedicated to maintaining discriminatory practices in the Atlanta community.

The Journal & Constitution have fought against discrimination for many years, providing a platform for editors of the stature of the late Ralph McGill who battled tirelessly and courageously against discrimination all of his working life and who frequently referred to Jack Tarver as “the one who steadies my soap box.”

ONLY ON AJC: Atlanta’s gentrification wave washes over historic Old Fourth Ward

When Sandra Gordon purchased her first home in 1998 in the Old Fourth Ward, her monthly mortgage and property tax bill was $250.

That was about the going rate when crime had taken over the intown neighborhood where Martin Luther King Jr. was born.

“I was scared when I first moved over here, because there were so many drug dealers around,” said Gordon, who is 61. “But it has changed. A lot of good people have moved in. It reminds me of the old days, when I was a little girl.”

Her monthly bill is now $604, mostly because of rising house prices, which push up property taxes. Gordon is relying on an $870 monthly disability check “and God. I pray a lot.”

“If things keep going the way they are going, I am going to have to sell and move somewhere else,” said Gordon, who also takes care of an adult nephew and a 5-year-old niece she calls Love Bug. “I was born here, and I want to stay, but I might not have any other choice.”

In 2018, the average sale price of an Old Fourth Ward home was $660,000. That’s up from $280,000 in 2013, according to Adams Realtors.

Because tax assessors are still playing catch-up, Gordon and her neighbors face even higher property taxes in the coming years.

Home prices also are surging in neighboring communities like Inman Park, Poncey-Highland and Midtown, part of a gentrification wave sweeping across intown Atlanta after many wealthy residents abandoned the city in earlier decades for the suburbs.

One reason for the sea change is the Atlanta Beltline, the former railway corridor converted into a walking and biking trail in 2012. In addition to boutiques, restaurants and craft breweries, city officials promised affordable housing. The former happened. The latter hasn’t.

In Atlanta, and elsewhere in the United States, gentrification is often about wealthy whites displacing poor blacks. Nowhere is that dynamic playing out more than in the city’s Old Fourth Ward.

Money pours into once-neglected neighborhood

To understand the Old Fourth Ward is to understand Atlanta. One of the city’s most historic black enclaves, it is now one of its most diverse neighborhoods.

“It is the cultural and spiritual heart of Atlanta. King was born and preached here,” said Atlanta City Councilman Amir Farokhi, who moved to the neighborhood in 2015. “The neighborhood has gotten whiter, younger and arguably more affluent.”

As many as 23,000 people — mostly working-class blacks — lived here in 1960. By the 1970s, more than half of the population had abandoned the area as drugs, gang violence and a migration to the suburbs took hold.

As late as 2000, 76% of the 12,244 residents were black and 16% were white in the Old Fourth Ward/Sweet Auburn Neighborhood Statistical Area, according to the Atlanta Regional Commission.

By 2015, the population rose to 14,321 people, but the black population dropped to 49.5% as the white population rose to 39%. Over the same period, median household income soared from $19,614 to $42,627.

Allesen Cann, a real-estate agent, moved to the neighborhood a few years ago and has watched the change up close.

“I am always torn. I hate that people feel like they can’t stay,” said Cann, who is white. “But this is also great for the neighborhood when you see new restaurants and amenities come in. And these same people are getting a much higher price than they would otherwise.”

On the section of Auburn Avenue where King was born in 1929, large two- and three-story homes still stand across from rows of shotgun houses. Today new lofts, townhomes and condos share space with aged buildings and century-old bungalows.

Homeless people beg for money on streets where diners eat at some of the city’s best restaurants. In another sign of change, according to older black residents, white women jog and walk their dogs on streets that drug dealers once ruled.

Historic Fourth Ward Park, formerly contaminated land at the lowest point of an 800-acre drainage basin, is a popular destination after a $25 million rehabilitation.

The park and nearby Ponce City Market, a long-empty Sears, Roebuck warehouse now filled with expensive lofts and high-end retailers like Williams Sonoma, are anchors of the Beltline project. The project also has promised at least 5,600 affordable houses and apartments by 2030, but a 2017 study by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution found that only 800 had been funded.

Today the Beltline is still a long way from meeting its affordable housing goals and “is not keeping up with the demographic and racial changes,” said Nathaniel Smith, founder of the Partnership for Southern Equity, a regional organization pushing for inclusive growth.

For some, a return to a different kind of home

In 1957, Darryl Hollomon’s great-grandparents were offered a chance to buy a two-story house they were renting on Morgan Street for about $10,000. The great-grandfather, a preacher, believed men of God should live humbly and declined.

By 2013, that same 1,528-square-foot home sold for $260,000. Next door to the old Hollomon house, a new mansion — tall, boxy and modern — is rising out of the soil. Many of the newly built homes are being listed for more than $800,000.

“I wish he had bought it then,” said Hollomon, who was born in the Old Fourth Ward and remembers the vegetable man coming down the street and his grandmother sweeping the porch and their part of the sidewalk.

He moved out of the neighborhood when he was 12. But in 2015 Hollomon and his husband Glyn Williams were looking for an intown home to raise their twins. They bought a house on Pine Street, just a few blocks from the old Morgan Street house.

“It was like coming back home,” said Holloman, who is black and vice president for student affairs at Spelman College.

Their kids go to the same elementary school Hollomon attended and play in the same streets. But the changes are stark.

“The community I grew up with, you don’t see anymore,” he said. “In five years, this is going to be an extension of Midtown with fewer people of color and more people of means.”

From his porch he points to a large house on the corner that he said five generations of black women once lived in. Then one day, they were gone. One of them later told Hollomon they couldn’t afford the higher taxes.

“They either had to sell their house or they lost it,” Hollomon said. “It can be shameful or embarrassing for people.”

Some build bigger, others worry they can afford to stay

Five years ago Leslie Quigless, a black single mother, and Michael Looney, a white married father of two, moved into the Old Fourth Ward.

Today their outlooks are different.

Looney, 56, dressed in a green Atlanta Beltline T-shirt, is a bundle of energy as he inspects construction on his John Wesley Dobbs home. Looney moved his family to the Old Fourth Ward after his then-6-year-old son saw a homeless man in their local Gwinnett County mall.

“We lived in a big house in a big tennis and swim community. But we were in a bubble,” said Looney, adding everyone told him to live in the suburbs when he moved to Georgia from Miami.

So they got a 1,300-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-bathroom bungalow in the Old Fourth Ward. When the family outgrew it, he tore it down to build a two-story, four-bedroom house twice the size.

“When we first moved here, people thought we were crazy. They said it was unsafe and the prices were too high. Now they want in,” said Looney, who does safety management in commercial real estate. “But, on the other side, I don’t know what my taxes are going to be and that is very concerning.”

In 2016, thousands of Fulton County homeowners were stunned when property taxes skyrocketed after the county, for years, had failed to keep up with rising values. The rates were eventually frozen at 2016 rates after a court battle, but at some point homeowners are bracing for another hit.

Just a few blocks from Looney, Quigless is in no immediate danger of losing her home that she bought through a city-sponsored program to help low-income, first-time buyers. But the 42-year-old owns a tutoring business, so her income can change month to month. The monthly tax bill on her house has gone up by $250.

“I have looked into possibly selling my house in anticipation of not being able to afford the taxes any more and that is scary,” said Quigless, whose house is down the street from where King was born. “We have to ask, what do we want this neighborhood to be?”

Time to revisit property taxes?

That is a question Farokhi, the Atlanta councilmember, struggles with daily.

Old Fourth Ward residents pay property taxes to the city of Atlanta, Atlanta Public Schools and Fulton County. A sliding scale of exemptions that reduces county or school taxes for low- and middle-income seniors kicks in at ages 62, 65, and 70. In the city of Atlanta, voters recently also passed a measure that would limit the annual tax increases for homeowners.

Farokhi, a native to Atlanta and Iranian-American, doesn’t think that is enough. He is mulling a proposal to give longtime residents more tax breaks so they don’t get priced out of their neighborhoods. Another council member, Marci Collier Overstreet, is pushing a resolution that the Atlanta Board of Education and Fulton County Board of Commissioners jointly propose a special legacy tax relief program.

Farokhi also points to the “Anti-Displacement Tax Fund Program” across town for residents of English Avenue, Vine City, Ashview Heights and the Atlanta University Center communities. Created by the private-sector Westside Future Fund and the city of Atlanta, it aims to protect longtime residents from tax increases as development projects like Mercedes-Benz Stadium and the Beltline boost real-estate prices.

“Part of my job is to ensure that the legacy and personality of the Old Fourth Ward is retained,” said Farokhi. “We don’t need to lose our soul.”

Lawrenceville couple to open downtown coffee and sweets shop

Richard Garcia and Dominique Horton bonded over a love of coffee and the culture surrounding it. Seven years later, the Lawrenceville couple will start roasting and serving up their own cups of joe.

Garcia and Horton will open Reyna’s Espresso and Sweets on West Crogan Street in the heart of downtown Lawrenceville. The Gwinnett shop will start serving coffee, espresso-based drinks, smoothies, tea and desserts before the start of summer.

Each day, the couple plans to open the store early in the morning around 6-7 a.m. and keep it open after dark until 9-10 p.m. Customers will be able to enjoy coffee-based cocktails on a weather-proofed enclosed outdoor patio or in the open area beside the building, pending a liquor license from the city.

Garcia and Horton stumbled across the vacant building for their shop last year, deciding to take the first steps toward opening their business. Garcia previously opened a furniture installation company, and he said it was just a matter of time before he and his significant other started a business together.

“As far as downtown Lawrenceville, we really liked the vibe,” Horton said. “It came about pretty naturally when we were walking by one day and saw this small space. We figured we could make it into something, so it’s pretty awesome we can build something where we reside as well.”

Garcia named the shop after his mother, who passed away from cancer right before he and Horton started dating. “(My mother) is the main reason that has pushed me to do better,” he said. “That’s why I chose the name, because I think she was the one who really started it.”

The couple has spent the past year expanding their coffee knowledge. The shop will roast its own beans, which Garcia said will separate the shop from others in Lawrenceville. Customers sitting on the patio will be able to see the coffee roasting through a window.

“Consistency is really what we’re aiming for,” said Horton, who worked as a general manager at a restaurant for 10 years. “That’s one thing I feel like a lot of places lack, so we want to make it someplace that somebody can go and get the same coffee today that they did yesterday and will tomorrow.”

The shop will offer gourmet desserts prepared by locally owned D’s Delicious Desserts, which will set it apart from other places, Garcia said. Selections will include coffee tres leches cake, lemon cookies sweet potato whoopie pies and gluten-free/vegan options.

Large chain coffee shops offer quick service and a drive-thru, but nothing compares to a barista knowing their customers’ names and orders when they walk through the door, Horton said.

The future shop has received positive reception from the Lawrenceville community, with hundreds of likes on a Facebook post by the City of Lawrenceville. Residents seem excited to have a new place to experience in time for the summer, Horton said.

“I think that’s our responsibility — to make sure that we keep that coffee culture alive and bring the best we can to the table,” Garcia said.

Oct. 24, 1871

The violence of this day was on a scale that even a city known for its brutality and racial attacks had never seen. In 1999, Cecila Rasmussen of The Times provided this narrative of the chain of events:

Gunfire erupted at 4 p.m., just as former city assessor-turned-patrolman Jesus Bilderrain was polishing off a whiskey at Higby’s saloon. Most of the barroom patrons shrugged off the commotion, but Bilderrain — pistol in hand — dutifully went out the swinging doors into the street. A short distance away, he found a man named Ah Choy shot through the neck (it was later determined this shooting was related to a feud between two Chinese gangs). As Bilderrain blew his whistle to summon help, bullets struck him in the shoulder and wrist.

Running to his rescue, saloon-owner-turned-rancher Robert Thompson was killed, shot through the heart by the same unseen gunmen, who also wounded some of the bystanders.

The rioters, meanwhile, rampaged on. Some climbed to the rooftops and used pickaxes to chop holes, firing through them at the immigrants inside. Two men who ran out into the street were cut down by gunmen on the roofs.

One by one, more victims were hauled from their hiding places, kicked, beaten, stabbed, shot and tortured by their captors. Some were dragged through the streets with ropes around their necks and hanged from a wooden awning over a sidewalk, a covered wagon or the crossbeam of a corral gate. Finally, 15 corpses — including those of a 14-year-old boy and the Chinese community’s only physician, Chee Long Tong — dangled in the City of the Angels. Four others died from gunshot wounds, bringing the death toll at the hands of the mob to 19 — 10% of the city’s tiny Chinese population.

Then, every rickety shanty in Chinatown was looted. “Boys, help yourselves,” was the cry. One lynching victim’s finger was cut off for the diamond ring he wore.

The leaders of the massacre paraded through the streets, displaying their booty, to the laughter and praise of the mob. An estimated $40,000 in cash, gold and jewels was stolen.

The next day’s local newspapers called the riot a “victory of the patriots over the heathens.”

Even as Gourmet magazine folded, the woman in charge made a recipe for success

CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts — In Ruth Reichl’s 10 years as the editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine, her most-requested recipe was cheesecake.

“It’s so easy,” she said. “Everybody loves it. It takes five minutes to make.”

Those five minutes provide a lasting sustenance for Jews embarking on an all-night Torah study session on the first evening of Shavuot. And with the holiday coming up this weekend, Reichl shared her Big New York Cheesecake recipe with The Times of Israel.

New York was the setting for Reichl’s distinguished career at Gourmet, the storied food magazine she oversaw from 1999 until its closure in 2009, a victim of the economic crisis and a media trending from print to online.

As editor, legendary Jewish-American writer and New York native Reichl chronicled a transformative era in American food while promoting innovative, sometimes-controversial content — including two separately memorable articles about two non-kosher staples, lobster and bacon. It’s all part of Reichl’s new book, “Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir,” published earlier this year by Penguin Random House.

It’s been a busy few months for Reichl. She edited “The Best American Food Writing 2018” and contributed entries on rye bread and lamb for “The 100 Most Jewish Foods: A Highly Debatable List,” which was released this March. (Rye bread was her father’s favorite food, and she shared a Passover lamb story.) She visited Israel on a tour for celebrity chefs (she said the country has “such incredible products, and really talented chefs using them in fascinating ways”).

And then there is her memoir, which became a bestseller on its first week of release. Poignantly, it is dedicated to Jewish-American food critic Jonathan Gold and his wife, author and editor Laurie Ochoa, who were both part of Reichl’s staff at the Los Angeles Times and Gourmet. Gold died last year of cancer.

In an interview with The Times of Israel, Reichl said, “I never had this kind of response to anything I’ve written. Somehow, this book hit a vein with so many people. People keep saying, ‘I don’t really care about food, but it really resonated with me.’”

She said that “many 30-something working mothers find the book helpful to them,” noting that it addresses being the editor of Gourmet while raising her son Nick with her husband, television news producer Michael Singer. And she marveled at being part of a top-selling trio of current autobiographical authors — “Michelle Obama, Melinda Gates and me.”

Reichl’s book conveys a world of photo shoots in test kitchens luxurious parties hosted by Gourmet’s late owner, Si Newhouse, the billionaire head of the Conde Nast magazine empire and visits to France. “I tore off a hunk of bread and scooped up a slab of pâté,” she writes of a Paris restaurant. “The flavor filled my mouth — strong, rustic, a pâté with conviction. ‘God, this is good.’”

In April, Reichl told a standing-room-only crowd at the Brattle Theater in Harvard Square that being editor of Gourmet “really was a plum job.” (Her book is named after the famous William Carlos Williams poem in which the tasty purple fruit represents a guilty pleasure.) Reichl’s book is “a sort of homage to Gourmet and what it meant to me,” she said.

Founded in 1940, Gourmet has a special place in many Americans’ hearts. As Reichl explained to The Times of Israel, it was the first epicurean magazine in the US, and “decade by decade, Gourmet really chronicled American food, all of its history,” with an additional focus on international cuisine. “You watched the world open through the pages of the magazine,” she said.

That happened for Reichl as an 8-year-old growing up in Manhattan. Her father, a German-Jewish immigrant and a book designer, enjoyed visiting used bookstores on weekends, taking his daughter with him. On one such visit, she was entranced by a Gourmet article, “Night of Lobster,” in which Pulitzer Prize winner and Maine poet laureate Robert P. Tristram Coffin wrote evocatively of New England seascapes and crustaceans.

“Suddenly here it hit home in such a wonderful way that real life could be as magnificent as any fairy tale,” Reichl said. “It gave me another way of understanding not just food, not just writing, but the world. I realized that if I paid attention to what was happening to me on a daily basis, what an extraordinary life I could have. I’ve had a few ‘aha’ moments. This was one of them.”

“This was, of course, before the #MeToo movement tore down the curtain and exposed the ugliness behind the kitchen door,” she writes in “Save Me the Plums.” “How much did we know? I’d been writing articles since the 󈨊s about the rise of the woman chef, and I’d heard the stories about the old days. But I’d thought that was behind us.”

She adds that over her “many years in restaurants as a waitress, cook, and writer, I can’t say that the chefs I met were any worse than the men I encountered in publishing or the art world. In retrospect I feel like a coward for having put up with any of that, but it was what we all considered the way of the world. I hope my granddaughters will live in a better one.”

Reichl went on to become the editor of the LA Times food section, the New York Times restaurant critic and the author of bestselling books such as her previous memoir “Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table.” Yet when invited to lead Gourmet, she hesitated.

As she told her Cambridge audience, she felt the magazine had grown stuffy, and she was ambivalent to join the corporate culture of Conde Nast and its 20-plus publications, but she ultimately accepted because “I really did have a vision of what a food magazine should be.”

The book details that vision and how it sometimes conflicted with old-guard readers — including a decision she made over a cupcake photo.

“I don’t think we were completely aware how much many of the older readers of Gourmet thought of themselves as kind of guardians of high culture till we put a cupcake on the cover,” she told The Times of Israel. “It seemed completely anodyne to me. Why was it so upsetting to so many people?”

Although Reichl described the image as “a beautiful cupcake,” angry letters kept coming from readers who called it “the most disgusting cover I’ve ever seen.” One wrote, “I had to tear the cover off.”

“I realized that many thought food belonged to a very small club of people, haute cuisine,” she said. “They were suddenly upset. Food suddenly belonged to a much larger group of people. Instead of [food] currents trickling down from the tables of wealth, [now there was] food-cart food, street food, tacos. Flavors were trickling up to the tables of white-tablecloth restaurants. They did not like that one bit.”

Some of her other innovations went over better than anticipated — such as “Consider the Lobster,” noted writer David Foster Wallace’s exploration of a Maine seafood festival that, let’s just say, was much different than the Gourmet lobster piece Reichl read as an 8-year-old.

“I never expected in my mind that [Wallace’s article] would be a bioethics piece about the morality of eating a living creature,” she said.

The disquisition even contained a reference to infamous Nazi doctor Josef Mengele. She told her Cambridge audience about back-and-forth discussions with Wallace in which she urged him to remove the Mengele reference, among other things.

“I was positive half of our subscribers would cancel their subscriptions, that I would lose my job,” she told The Times of Israel. “It was a great lesson: Never underestimate readers. Two canceled. One hundred wrote, ‘Thank you for such a terrific piece.’”

That inspired Reichl to explore other challenging subjects, including “Some Pig” by David Rakoff, in which the Jewish-Canadian writer delved into the relationship between Jews and bacon.

“It was very controversial,” she said. “It was wonderful. It really annoyed, and also delighted, a lot of people. He found out at one point that a Reform rabbi in Chicago was trying to say it was okay for Jews to eat bacon, sometime in the 1860s. It ended up being a piece about more than just Jews and bacon — the morality of food.” She called it one of her favorites.

By pursuing her vision and encouraging colleagues to pursue their ideas as well, Reichl was able to transcend feeling like an out-of-place newcomer to Conde Nast. She bonded with her staff — a bond that showed its strength during the 9/11 attacks. Conde Nast closed its offices after the terrorist attacks took down the Twin Towers, but Reichl learned of the emergency workers going to Ground Zero and invited her staff to join her in preparing and serving meals to them.

“I think on the part of all of us in New York, there was a huge desire to do something, to try to help in some way,” Reichl said. She recalled “a revealing moment” when she gave a bowl of chili to an emergency worker who said it reminded him of home. “I think we all felt how restorative food can be for people who cook, people who eat,” Reichl said.

Seven years later, New York faced a different kind of test in the global financial crisis, which ultimately led to the closure of Gourmet. Reichl was in Seattle on a book tour for “The Gourmet Cookbook” when she received a phone call summoning her back to New York.

“I thought it was what I had been expecting all along — that I would be fired,” she told her Cambridge audience. “I was stunned to discover they were not firing me but closing the magazine. It was a really horrible moment.”

She has respectful words for the late Conde Nast head Si Newhouse, whom she calls “truly a visionary, one of the last publishers putting out a quality product [readers] will appreciate.”

She has kept herself occupied with projects such as compiling a list of recipes that saved her in her first 365 days away from Gourmet into the book “My Kitchen Year,” and editing “The Best American Food Writing 2018.” But the magazine she was part of for so long, and what it represented, remained in her thoughts.

“I wanted to celebrate a golden moment for magazines,” Reichl said. “I was fortunate enough to be there, part of this moment. It’s over. It will never come again.”

Ruth Reichl’s Big New York Cheesecake

Shopping List
1 package Famous Chocolate Wafers
1½ pounds cream cheese
1 pint sour cream

1 5/8 cups sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter (melted)
4 eggs
2½ teaspoons vanilla

Cheesecake is about the easiest thing you can possibly bake, a completely foolproof recipe that relies on supermarket staples. Most people adore it: at Gourmet, cheesecake was our most requested recipe. Show up anywhere with one of these and you’ll be welcome.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

To make the crust, crush chocolate wafers until you have about a cup and a half (that will take about 6 ounces of wafers). Mix in a quarter cup of sugar, a pinch of salt, and the melted butter. Using your fingers, pat this mixture into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan, making it even all around. Put the pan into the freezer for 15 minutes (it will keep here, covered, for a couple of months). Bake for 10 minutes, just to crisp the crust. Remove the pan and turn the oven down to 300 degrees.

Beat the cream cheese with a cup of sugar, the eggs, and 1½ teaspoons of vanilla until you have a completely smooth mixture. Pour it into the crust and bake for about 50 minutes, or until the cheese is set on the edges but still a bit wobbly in the middle. Remove the cake from the oven (leave the oven on) and cool for about 10 minutes on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, mix the sour cream with 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Spread this mixture evenly over the cooled cake, then return it to the oven for about 12 minutes until the glaze is glossy and set.

Cool completely, then chill for at least 8 hours.

From “My Kitchen Year” by Ruth Reichl, published by Random House, an imprint and division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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So after yesterday’s post during which I took the opportunity to question restaurants, restaurateurs, and chefs motives and decisions to out anonymous folks, it’s only fair that we discuss the impact on the average diner, &hellip Read more &rarr

The debate between those who wish to remain anonymous (like me) and those hell bent on exposing us rages on. Seemingly everyday, more and more anonymous journalists, critics, and bloggers are being ousted from their &hellip Read more &rarr

The 27 best restaurants in Orlando

At first glance, the best restaurants in Orlando may appear to be a string of strip mall eateries, fast food joints and cheesy tourist traps. While there&rsquos no denying Central Florida has an overabundance of all of those things, the City Beautiful has more to offer than meets the eye&mdashit&rsquos just a matter of knowing where to go.

Over the past decade, there&rsquos been a restaurant renaissance within Orlando with the buttoned-up chophouses and cookie-cutter cafes on the rise in the nineties and early aughts giving way to out-of-the-box dining concepts, unexpected takes on American classics, niche specialty spots and an overwhelming focus on sustainability inspired by the farm-to-table movement.

The driving force behind the city&rsquos foodie revival are the many chefs that call Orlando home. From James and Julie Petrakis, the duo behind The Ravenous Pig and Cask & Larder, to Brandon McGlamery, the mastermind who created hotspots like Luma and Prato, to Sonny Nguyen, the founder of Domu, there are a number of culinary movers and shakers that are raising the bar in terms of food quality, ambiance and service. Orlando&rsquos diverse culture is another major influencer, leading to the rise of authentic places serving global grub.

Whether you&rsquore looking to dine on fancifully crafted tasting menus, extraordinary seafood , split tapas with friends or grab a quick bite before venturing out to the best bars and clubs in the area, these are our favorite places to eat out in Orlando.

Eaten somewhere on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutEatList. You can find out more about how Time Out makes recommendations and reviews restaurants here.

Chef Broening's Article Included in Best of Food Writing

John Broening, who serves as executive chef at Duo and Olivéa, as well as Spuntino, is not only a master in the kitchen, he is also a skilled and commanding writer. The 2012 edition of Best Food Writing anthologizes his piece Supper Clubs in Denver: Informal, Spontaneous and Inexpensive, recognizing his writing work among the best and giving readers a chance to re-read the article focused on the Noble Swine Supper Club, which originally appeared in the Denver Post on September 14, 2011.

Best of Food Writing, edited by Holly Hughes, is on its 11th edition, and in each iteration this anthology provides a well-curated selection of food coverage from the year from restaurant reviews, industry exposes, personal culinary experiences, updates on food policy, or wine-focused stories.

John Broening's writing pedigree and history are worth noting: his father, Stephens Broening, was a correspondent for the Associated Press and has written for many publications, including The New York Times. Chef Broening graduated from Haverford College with a degree in English Literature and published his work in the Baltimore Sun, the City Paper, Gastronomica, and Edible Front Range. His writing focuses on food, but he has also ventured into book reviews, among others.

Broening is a regular contributor to the The Outlet and writes a weekly column in the Denver Post, Short Order, in which he shares both thoughts on food and seasonal recipes with the readers.

Chef John Broening cooking at Spuntino [Photo: Adam Larkey]

Check Out These Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurants Around Atlanta

Whether a longtime devotee to the meatless life or a recent convert, Atlanta offers a slew of dedicated dining options for vegetarians and vegans around town. This list of Atlanta vegetarian and vegan restaurants includes menus offering everything from Chinese and Indian fare to raw food kitchens, and even a vegan pizzeria.

Don't see a favorite vegetarian or vegan restaurant listed? Send Eater the details via the tipline.

Disclaimer: A number of Atlanta restaurants on this map have resumed dine-in service. The level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns: for updated information on coronavirus cases, please visit the Georgia Department of Health. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.