Thoughts, ramblings, and #BTS by the L&T Editorial Staff.

The Glamour—Or, Lack Thereof—Of Food Writing

As I sit and write this, the power in my apartment building is out, and has been for 9 hours now. There’s no Wi-Fi, my computer and phone batteries are on their last leg, and I’ve exhausted all my viable loitering-in-coffee-shop options for the day; it’s not looking promising. I just got home from working in a coffee shop in the middle of Hollywood, and the only available outlet was next to a woman who smelled of something fierce and was having an all-out two-sided conversation with herself. It’s 11 p.m. and the building’s halls are tinged with low-lit blue emergency lights, barely enough for you to see one foot step in front of the other. My apartment is lit with all the candles in my possession, and my pilot light is out. I’m also on deadline, with articles to edit and one more of my own to finish. It’s the night before Life & Thyme, Issue 5 is to go to print. This is what the life of an editor looks like.

I often hear rumors that the life of a writer is exciting. Sure, writing under the pressure of deadline is some form of exciting, in a masochistic kind of way—and I’ve never met a writer who isn’t a procrastinator—but it’s also a lot like how my night is going: you’re just trying to get through it.

Listen, I actually love AP Style more than most—yes, I said love to describe a style of editing. I thrive on replacing commas with semicolons. I love to tell a good story. And trust me, I have plenty. But when you read a story, let alone an entire print magazine—Viva la print!—don’t forget about the writers and editors sitting crazed in front of their computer screens, frantically writing, transcribing, rewinding and writing away. Oh, but when you finish your final draft—Ah! Bliss.

But what really makes it worth it are those moments when you’re walking around a Los Angeles institution like Grand Central Market with its owner, Adele Yellin—the woman who revived the market and helped bring Downtown L.A. back to life. Or when you’re sitting on a ledge outside of Dough in the Flatiron in New York City with your colleagues sharing a box of doughnuts Fany Gerson—the shop’s owner—sent you home with. Or when you’re sitting at Hotel Bel Air on a perfect winter morning with the Wolfgang Puck when he’s telling you about his struggles getting a job in a kitchen when your conversation is interrupted when Anthony Hopkins in the flesh comes over to pay his respects. Or reading a sign in Puck’s kitchen that reads, “The chef is still the chef even in a bathing suit.”

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These are the moments that remind us chaotic, caffeine-induced writers why it is that we write. When you’re sitting around a table at Babbo in Greenwich Village with the Life & Thyme team recounting the day’s happenings, and you order something that is just so good you have to tell someone about it. Or when you meet someone who’s story is so inspiring you have to share it. That’s why we keep drinking those coffees and getting this print magazine to you. That’s why we write in the dark on deadline.

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