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Words of Mouth

Edible magazine editors spread the news about regional food

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By Marie Cannizzaro

Where can you find honey-lavender ice cream in the East Bay, or fresh bok choy in Austin? Ask the Edible editors. These foodies, including at least two Stanford alumni, run a network of quarterly magazines devoted to local food news in 36 areas across the country.

Pamela Hamilton, ’79, is the publisher and editor of Edible Phoenix. The former management consultant is writing a food-shopping guide for the Phoenix area. She owns more than 1,000 cookbooks and belongs to the International Association of Culinary Professionals.

Brian Halweil, ’97, is the founder of Edible Brooklyn and Edible East End in New York, and he will add Edible Manhattan in September. A senior researcher with the Worldwatch Institute, an environmental think tank, he is the author of Eat Here: Reclaiming Homegrown Pleasures in a Global Supermarket.

We asked these two what gets their stomachs rumbling.

What are the origins of your love for food?

PH: My family gardened, hunted, fished and gathered wild foods such as roadside asparagus and hickory nuts near our house in Wisconsin.

BH: I spent the first five years of my life in a sleepy Hudson Valley town, where my foodie parents say I was simultaneously enthralled and frightened by the giant squash plants in our garden.

What is your favorite Stanford food-related memory?

PH: I had a resident fellow who would invite everyone over for “Lebanese hash.” It’s made with every fresh veggie you can think of, scrambled with eggs and a pinch of allspice, and served with warm pita bread.

BH: Learning how to bake bread at Columbae; dumplings and dan dan noodles at Jing Jing in Palo Alto; plucking the first fig off a tree at the Stanford Community Farm.

If you were hosting an episode of Iron Chef, which local ingredient would you ask the contestants to improvise on?

PH: If I was being nice, I’d pick tortillas. If I was being difficult, I’d pick cactus.

BH: Definitely clams, oysters or scallops from the East End. Americans don’t eat enough shellfish. They have all the same health benefits as salmon or tuna, and they are much less destructive to raise.

Any guilty food pleasures?

PH: The bread-and-butter pickles with jalapeños from our Downtown Phoenix Public Market. I’ve been known to eat the whole jar.

BH: We consume an outrageous amount of dark chocolate in my household, but we don’t feel any guilt.


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