Year over year, the food world gets smaller and bigger at the same time. We are furthering our learning of other cultures and bringing them closer to us, and we are also pushing the limits of what food tech, sustainability, diversity, and equity look like. Sometimes I’m annoyed AF (looking at you, World’s 50 Best), but this year has truly been one to celebrate.
Why do I obsessively follow each corner of food culture as closely as I can? Because I love it more than any other culture I’ve been a part of. Because it’s a culture that transcends language, geography, and most importantly, bullshit. And because it’s a culture we can always be learning from. Here are my favorite stories from the past year that I felt embody all of this:
WhatsApp Is Changing the Way India Talks About Food
A look at the the grassroots hold that WhatsApp has taken in the Indian farmer and household communities. It has its flaws, but overall it’s been a welcome new technology.
Dominique Crenn Finally Earns Her Third Michelin Star
Finally. FINALLY. This insanely talented woman gets what she’s deserved for so long.
Chef’s Table Season 5
Netflix is listening, and this season had some of the most diverse stories ever. My favorite was the profile of Cristina Martinez, an undocumented immigrant who runs a barbacoa restaurant in Philly and sends money back home to her daughter in Mexico.
A New School of Pastry Chefs Got Its Start in Architecture
Food really is a mixture of art and design, and these chefs figured that out long before anyone else did. The desserts are seriously stunning.
Japan’s Father of Cooking Manga
In a country where gender stereotypes rule, one manga author quietly changed that through his comics that feature a male in the kitchen.
Is fine wine the NBA’s new status symbol?
Wine is cooler than ever thanks to the NBA. Better brush up on your cabs as much as your jump shots.
Crying in H Mart
As someone who grew up going to Indian, Chinese, and Japanese supermarkets, few other spots offer as much sense of belonging. This article captured it perfectly.
The Birth of Sake
If you liked Jiro Dreams of Sushi, you will love this documentary. It’s a poignant look at the lives of sake brewers, and the sacrifices they make to acquire the highly respected skills to make sake.
The Ice Cream Sundae Must Be Stopped
Ice cream sundaes are the avocado toast of desserts, and they need to stop.
Anthony Bourdain’s Moveable Feast
This article came out last year, and I love it for highlighting perhaps the first truly raw look at Bourdain’s flashy but troubled life. It was the first time where I saw him as a human, with deep seated uncertainties and feelings like anyone else. Like all of us, I could not have predicted what came next, but I’m forever grateful to learn about who we think he really was.