Recently published 2/9/17

Feeling the world could use some yoga, collectively, I wrote a comprehensive list of the best yoga retreats in the tropical Americas.  It looks like Costa Rica is ground zero for all things yoga, so I expect to write more on the topic as it relates to that country.

I was asked to contribute to a Thrillist piece about cities Americans overlook traveling to as they're too "dangerous," exotic, far away or, simply, not in Europe. My contribution was Guadalajara, a city I spent a week in last fall that is best known for its art and tech scenes, mariachi, tequila and the gut-busting torta ahogada--a breakfast food that is comprised of roasted pork in a baguette completely smothered in searing hot tomato salsa.

I had a print piece come out in Ranch & Coast Magazine, a print publication based here in San Diego County. It's about mezcal, and gives a brief history and introduction to the spirit while providing a proprietary cocktail recipe from my latest favorite bar in town, The Grass Skirt. It was short but very fun to write and I'm thrilled to be contributing for the magazine!

Planning for the Salt & Wind Baja trips is going along swimmingly and we're looking at liftoff in early April. Correspondingly, my guide to Baja for Salt & Wind was published, and it's basically a huge information dump. I left some hidden gems out, of course, but it's a great, one-stop shop for anyone who wants to know the overall deal.


Writing in the Time of Trump

I have no problem getting political. I'm an avowed opponent of Donald Trump's, and have been for as long as I can remember. You see, being a New Yorker means that for my entire life, he's been in the news. And not in a positive way. Everyone in New York has hated Trump pretty much...forever, because he's always been a lying, cheating, unprincipled, slimy scumbag of a human and businessman. So, it's baffling and horrifying to see him being taken so seriously by so many other people. I know that's that New York exceptionalism that the rest of the country hates us for, but this time it's legit. Welcome to the party, America--we've despised The Donald for years.

I'm not going to go into why--the horrors of his platform and now his administration are well-documented elsewhere in print and on the web. What I will do is a bit of self-reflection. As a writer, I feel compelled to somehow contribute to commentary our national tragedy. I'm not a political writer, though, and I don't know enough about policy to become one. I'm not sure I even really want to, to be honest. I was a United States Government major in college during the Bush years and that gave me so much anxiety I decided to focus on other topics for the rest of my life. But now, writing about food and travel and the luxury beat I stumbled into feels a bit frivolous. That may be true, but life must also go on. I have bills to pay. Still, I have this nagging feeling that I'm selling out.

I've decided that I can contribute in many ways. Of course, I can and have been donating my time and money to organizations that help assuage the violence of Trump's administration. My guilt about writing about what I'm being assigned to write about needs to slink off--again, I have bills to pay and bylines to stack, and I'm not sitting here writing pro-Trump pieces nor am I writing about the splendors of a Trump hotel or golf course. Writing about food and culture seems more important than ever, as they are things that keep us alive and make us feel human--two things that seem to be under fire more than ever.

Also, my most major beat at the moment is Mexico and what an incredible country it is. The diversity of its food, languages, cultures, customs and natural wonders. Why the Mexico you've heard about is, most definitely, not the same as the real Mexico that millions live and work in every day. So, in this new age of shitty U.S.-Mexico relations, I'm happy to contribute about a sorely misunderstood country--one who should be a close ally and partner, whose borderland is also our own. I feel privileged and lucky to not only be able to travel back and forth from Mexico so often, but to live on the border and have a glimpse into this crazy "third country" at such a tense time. If my writing helps dispel misconceptions about Mexico and the border in any way, it will be one of my greatest professional triumphs.

I've had this on my mind for most of the last week, and as a result had a pretty major creative block. I'm waiting to hear back on several pitches and was assigned a few fun stories last week: mainly about Mexico and wine, which I'll never complain about. I also published this for Luxury Living International, which lists the hottest real estate markets in paradise. I thought it would be dry but turned out to be a fun article to research and write--even though the homes mentioned remain in my dreams. If you end up buying a home thanks to this article, do me a favor and throw me an invite.

Recently eaten (and published) and an exciting announcement! 1/19/17

At the beginning of this week, I received a last minute email offering a rare interview with famed French chef Joel Robuchon. The catch was minor: I had to go to Las Vegas to do so and would also get a chance to eat at his 3 Michelin star eponymous restaurant, Joel Robuchon. Since I'm a little bit lazy, the first thing I did was check flights. $550 and none at the ideal time--I had to be in Vegas by 11:30 Tuesday morning and my best friend was visiting until late Monday night. 

So, driving was the only option and I left at 4 AM Tuesday morning for my solo trek across the Mojave desert. Which, by the way, is beautiful! Everyone told me the drive to Vegas was "super boring," but I was delighted by the elevation changes, mountain vistas and random outcroppings of Joshua Trees. Not to mention, the In-n-Out in Barstow saved my ass on the way back. 

Interviewing Mr. Robuchon was a real treat: I learned about his absolute, near-religious devotion to cooking more healthily, something that trickles down to his restaurants. He also told me about his new culinary school, in France, which offers guests and would-be chefs an all-encompassing hospitality experience by also building a on-site hotel. The dinner, of course, was excellent. We sampled some new menu items, the creation of which was overseen by Mr. Robuchon himself. It's hard to pick a favorite, but in the running was the duck with acacia honey and coriander, glazed turnips and his famous pomme puree or the John Dory filet with shisho leaf tempura on squid ink risotto. Or the rose shrimp in bonito broth with ginger and kombu seaweed. Or the avocado and Scottish salmon canneloni with osetra caviar that was paired with a sublime Chablis: Vielle Vignes Saint Clair, Domaine Jean-Marc Brocard 2013. You get the idea.

My first pieces were published at Thrillist this week, as well. I helped them roll out a full-scale guide for visitors to San Diego, with my contributions being the best beaches and must-eat, most iconic foods in the city. I also helped with some of the general introductions around the guide. Also live is the video we did for the Fork Yeah series, which is about the tuna ribbon fishbowl. I art directed and also wrote the accompanying blurb. PETA will be thrilled about this one.

Also exciting, I'm partnering up with Aida Mollenkamp of the gorgeous travel & food site Salt & Wind. I'll be contributing editorial content about San Diego and Baja and will be helping her get her upcoming trips to Baja off the ground. It's a real, tangible way to turn my knowledge of the region into something fun and useful and I am honestly thrilled to be on board. Please, if you're interested at all, ask me more or sign up to be on the information list HERE. We're looking at a late spring launch with trips running throughout the rest of 2017.

Recently published, week of 1/12/17

I was so proud to get this piece at New Worlder out into the world. It's about the rise of fine dining in Oaxaca, which is one of my absolute favorite places in Mexico and, by far, one of the best places to eat on the planet. I am really happy with how it came out and loved writing (and researching) this story.

Over at Luxury Living, I listed the best places to travel in the tropical Americas for 2017. I was able to highlight Grenada, an island I'm really excited to visit this coming March. 

I also listed Grand Cayman as another hotspot, bolstered even more by this article I did about a stunning new home on Grand Cayman designed by Miami-based interior designer Bea Pila. Talk about home envy.

On the travel front, I lined up another trip, this time to Guatemala, which will come at the end of February. I finalized my Tucson, Arizona plans for the week of March 9th. I'm currently in Newport Beach, CA for the Newport Beach Restaurant Week preview, which is exciting despite the gloomy rain in southern California. On Tuesday, I head to Las Vegas to interview famed chef Joel Robuchon, which I couldn't be more excited for. 

Recently published and travel plans, week of 1/6/2017

I began my stint at Luxury Living International with a detail of the W Fort Lauderdale's $55 million renovation.

Back on the home island, my piece about why Long Islanders miss Long Island summer went live. Being in San Diego, I can't say January really ever makes me long for summer, but it's been raining here for two straight weeks. A true anomaly. So, I'm feeling it. 

San Diego Magazine's January issue and Modern Luxury's January/February issue are both on stands. I have articles in both - check it out!

On the 2017 travel calendar front: I have a weeklong trip to Germany booked for April, which I'm crazily excited about. I'll be visiting wine regions and the East German cities of Leipzig and Dresden and am looking forward to seeing what will come out of it. I'm also finalizing a trip to Grenada, which should come not long after a trip with friends to Cabo San Lucas and Todos Santos in March. I'm in the process of developing a self-designed writing retreat to Tucson, Arizona in February where I'll be mentored by a travel writer I've long admired. Looking forward to an exciting year!

Hello, 2017!

Initially, I intended for this space to be an online home for just my portfolio - nothing else. Over time, I realized that it would be helpful and fun to talk about the interesting things I see and eat that don't make it into an article, as well as have a place to kick some ideas around without the pressure of publishing. Also, I wanted another space to share some published work I don't necessarily want to post on my portfolio, for reasons of brevity. 

Since this site will, primarily, remain a spot to share published work, I figured I'd start 2017 with a roundup of things I wrote that came out in 2016. Enjoy, and thanks for visiting!


First things first: I was incredibly proud to publish at Roads & Kingdoms for the first time. Especially considering it's about a topic near and dear to my heart, Mexico's Valle de Guadalupe. Wonderful though the area is, it has a major problem that spells big trouble for its future.

This story, also about the Valle de Guadalupe for Harper's BAZAAR digital, was my first national piece and what broke everything wide open for me, so to speak. I was happy to do another piece for them later in the year about a wonderful culinary trip I took to Oaxaca in July 2016.

I began contributing to a new site about food and culture in the Americas, called New Worlder. I'm proud to be among their ranks and excited to see how the site will grow - if you check out the various contributors, you'll see everyone has a pretty stacked resume and is putting out great content. I wrote about the classic Oaxacan street food, the tlayuda as well as the rise of another agave spirit called raicilla, for which I won 1st prize in the food category at the annual San Diego Press Club Excellence in Journalism Awards.

I also began contributing to AFAR digital, where I wrote stories about the Valle de Guadalupe (and profiled a man who, unknown to me at the time, would end up being my boss for 6 months just a few months later) and raicilla.

I returned to the Infatuation to host a dinner in San Diego for them in partnership with American Express. The corresponding article lists the best spots in San Diego for celebrations. Later in the year, they invited me to produce a re-write of a guide to Barcelona that I had originally written for them in 2014.

I became a digital contributor to Long Island PULSE magazine, my hometown regional publication. I wrote a restaurant overview as well as a few "Strong Island" pieces, including this one, which was one of their 10 most read of 2016.

I had a few month-long stint as the lifestyle editor for a luxury lifestyle site called JustLuxe, which sadly, is closing its doors in January 2017. While there, I got to write some great features: an interview with the Roca brothers of Spain's El Celler de Can Roca (3rd place in the Profiles category at the San Diego Press Club Excellence in Journalism Awards), an interview with Spanish-American chef Jose Andres just before he was awarded his first Michelin stars, a dive into the world of natural wine, a insider's look at the value of the Aspen Food & Wine Classic, an interview with JetSmarter CEO Sergey Petrossov, an interview with yacht designer Luiz de Basto, a profile on the ultra-exclusive dating app Raya, a look at South Africa's booming fine dining scene, and the billions that go into the Monaco Grand Prix.

I had a memorable year in print, as well, producing several pieces for Locale Magazine, Modern Luxury San Diego and my first solo byline for San Diego Magazine, which was about a culinary-themed trip I took to Arizona.

I produced several pieces for a San Diego-based travel company, called Classic Journeys. Although they're marketing material, I'm actually quite proud with how they came out and would feel comfortable recommending any of them to someone visiting the Basque Country, Vietnam or Iceland - all places I've visited (and lived in) and loved

At the very end of the year, I formally joined Luxury Living International as their editor. Prior to that, I wrote about the Valle de Guadalupe, raicilla, handmade yachts, developer and jack of all trades Peter de Savary, Cabo San Lucas' Resort at Pedregal and the best spots in the Caribbean to host a wedding.