All of us ask a lot of our bodies, but I think it’s fair to say that for me this is...extra true. As Restaurant Editor of Food & Wine I spend months on the road scouting each year’s class of Best New Chefs and Restaurants of the Year—a big job that requires an even bigger appetite. Double dinners (we call them bang-bangs) and even the occasional triple (that’s a bang-bang-bang baby) are part of the job, often on the heels of a day spent exploring new bakeries, street vendors, farmers markets and unicorn frappalattewhatevers.
This year’s journey was no less an exquisite gavage—many tens of thousands of miles traveled in search of delicious and surprising things to eat, like the PB and C(urry) at Preeti Mistry's modern Indian spot Navi Kitchen in Oakland, or Ross Coleman and James Haywood’s West African remixes at their Houston sleeper, Kitchen 713. I fell deeply in love with the city of St. Louis, thanks in no small part to Loryn Nalic’s stuffed Turkish pide bread slicked with tangy red pepper ajvar at Balkan Treat Box truck, and lost mind over Anthony Rush and Chris Kajioka’s slow-cooked cabbage with moringa powder at Senia in Honolulu.