I’m Shipping Up to Boston

1 Oct

Okay, so let’s dispense with the elephant in the room. Obviously a good chunk of time has passed since I last posted on Tortefeaster. Apologies to my two loyal readers (LOL). Before you start judging me, it is not as bad as it looks. After finishing up very intense sophomore level pastry labs (including the particularly taxing specialty cakes that was a brutal–rather than beautiful–struggle) this May, I moved back home from Charlotte and almost immediately began my internship with the Dining Editor of Northern Virginia Magazine.

Anniversary Cake I Made as Part of My Specialty Cake Lab (Image: Johnisha M. Levi)

If you don’t know Northern Virginia Magazine, it is a pretty swell lifestyle magazine that you should check out. It is like a younger, hipper version of the Washingtonian for the oft-ignored northern region of the Commonwealth. (And no, it doesn’t just cover Arlington and Fairfax, although these “D.C. suburbs” feature prominently). The Dining Editor Warren Rojas is  a food poet whose descriptions are so evocative and heady that you wish you were partaking in anything he’s eating.

As part of the NoVa Mag Dining team (or “food desk”), I was charged with writing daily posts for the magazine’s Gut Check food blog, as well as some lengthier feature articles for the print magazine. So you can see that I’m not lying, you can check out all of my Gut Check posts here. My latest print article is out in the October issue of the magazine and is entitled “Dessert Wars: Unseating the (Cup)Cake Boss” ( a.k.a. let’s put the cupcakes to bed already). This piece was a blast to write because besides giving me the opportunity to further vent on this topic, I got to meet and interview an inspirational chef, Top Chef favorite, and now co-host of The Chew, Carla Hall.

With Carla Hall at her cookie launch (Image: Courtesy of Alchemy by Carla Hall)

Right now, I am up in Cambridge, Massachusetts finishing up my culinary school externship requirement as a test kitchen intern at America’s Test Kitchen/Cook’s Illustrated. If you are looking for in-depth commentary on the test kitchen, I am sorry to disappoint as you won’t find it here. I’d rather not parse or test the rules of what you can and cannot say because I am working daily with proprietary material that is being tested way in advance of publication. I will say that it is an extremely stimulating environment with a lot of very intelligent cooks and writers, many of whom have had other life experiences like me (e.g., one test cook started medical school; another was a civil engineer) before landing at ATK.

In other news, I also have to tell you that my sojourn in Massachusetts has turned into a permanent relocation. My New Hamsphirite (“Live Free or Die!”) Red Sox-and-Patriots-lovin’  husband accepted a job offer in Boston, and so this Mid-Atlantic D.C. girl is getting ready for some harsh winters with a Dropkick Murphys soundtrack.

Figures, it would take a New England boy to make me fall in love with a city that didn’t used to warm the cockles of my heart. In advance, I do apologize to any future children we might have for the loss of the letter “r” from their vernacular.

As much as I will miss home, I am pumped to explore Boston’s many cultural offerings, especially Boston’s food scene, and to share my insights and ops on this blog.

Image: Johnisha M. Levi

Despite the city’s fierce depiction in some classic films (check out the below wicked pissah montage of a bunch of Bostonians throwing the f bomb left and right, including scenes from one of my all time favorites, The Departed)  I am excited about getting to know some of Boston’s finest bakeries, restaurants, and farmers (or should I say fahmers) markets because . . . well . . . home is where the torte is.

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2 Responses to “I’m Shipping Up to Boston”

  1. G Joseph October 2, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    Cute. Welcome (back) home to beantown ; )

  2. boozeinboston October 3, 2011 at 12:17 am #

    Welcome back to Boston! It’s a great place to live 🙂

    Valerie

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