As a food and travel journalist, I get to see a lot of the world. The flowing Spanish moss in the Carolinas, the red dirt roads of West Africa, and the colorful homes that line Bahian streets are all memories I cherish — memories that remind me of how lucky I am to do the work that I do.
Traveling to Indonesia recently has allowed me to create some of my most wonderful and cherished memories, particularly when it comes to the country’s culinary offerings. After completing a Fulbright grant on Central Java five years ago, I returned to Java this summer. Upon stepping off the plane in Jakarta, strong smells of lemongrass, clove, and fried vegetables overtook me in the best way. Through the people, culture, and especially the food, I’ve grown to love one of the most complicated countries in the world.
We produce reported pieces, profiles, interviews, and rants about what’s broken in the food world (there’s a lot) and how to change things for the better. People sometimes tell me to just keep politics out of it. Respectfully: No. Food is political. We can’t and won’t ignore that.