Ilene Bezahler grew up in the greater New York City area, in a family that enjoyed good food, wine, and cooking. She has a B.A. in Psychology, and has traveled the world extensively. Ilene's travels lead to an increased interest in the foods and markets of other countries. Early on she developed a successful philosophy around different foods: "Try, then Ask." Upon leaving the corporate world, Ilene worked at Boston's last working farm. In the position of Marketing and Wholesale Manager, she learned to understand and respect the importance of sustainable agriculture, local foods, and local communities. While at the farm, Ilene organized the first Tomato Festival, coordinated farm tours with groups such as NOFA, and expanded farm tours for local school groups.
While visiting eastern Long Island, Ilene read an issue of Edible East End and decided on the spot that she wanted to publish an Edible newsletter in her hometown of Boston. "Boston is a rather unique city, in that within a very near proximity to 'downtown' you will find small, family run farms and a surviving fishing/seafood industry. Despite the short produce season in Boston, restaurants and food stores are strong supporters of 'locally grown,' in part due to their longtime respect for local seafood. My goals for Edible Boston are to expose and educate people in the Greater Boston Area to the positive health, environmental and social benefits and rewards in supporting local agriculture and local food production."
Today, Ilene's interests and community involvement are extensive. She is a member of the Mass Horticulture Society, and is a Master Gardener Graduate. She also participates in community gardening, and is a Brookline, MA Town Meeting Member. Ilene is a member of Slow Foods Boston and Chefs Collaborative.
Irene Costello, writer - After 20 years in the corporate world, Irene broke out to develop her passion for cooking. She earned her masters degree in gastronomy and a certificate in culinary arts from Boston University. She also has a certificate in wine studies from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust. Irene joined Ruby Chard as a managing partner in 2002 bringing a unique combination of culinary and business experience. Irene earned her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University.
Mary-Catherine Deibel, writer, is co-owner (with partner and chef Deborah Hughes) of UpStairs on the Square, a restaurant in Harvard Square. As a restaurateur for the last 25 years, she has entertained and/or married much of the population of Cambridge. She and her husband Reid visit their cottage in Westport as much as possible in summer months, where they love to cook, swim, and chill.
Catherine Dry, writer, was born and raised in Philadelphia. After studying Italian Literature at Wesleyan University and International Economics at the Fletcher School, she returned to her first passion and entered the food world. She has worked at Formaggio Kitchen in Cambridge, MA as a cheesemonger and currently is a Program Manager at Oldways Preservation Trust, a food issues think tank in Boston.
Alice Feiring, writer, is an award winning wine and travel writer. A columnist for Time magazine, her works appear in other major magazines and newspapers. She is writing a book on naturally made wines entitled, The Battle for Wine and Love, for Harcourt (due out fall 2007). You can keep up with her opinions and travels on her blog, nominated for a James Beard award and cited as one of the world's best wine blogs by Food & Wine magazine at alicefeiring.com.
Hannah Freedberg, writer, works as
Outreach Director for The Federation of
Massachusetts Farmers' Markets (www.massfarmersmarkets.org), and has been connecting people with farms for ten years. She can often be found chatting up farmers and market customers while munching on local produce. She is thrilled to combine her love of writing and her love of food as a contributor to Edible Boston's inaugural issue.
John Lee, writer, is the manager of Allandale Farm (Boston's Last Working Farm), which specializes, in naturally-grown local produce. He occasionally writes for local news outlets and is deeply involved with farming and locally-grown issues in Massachusetts.
Happy with a heaping bowl of Matt's Wild Cherry tomatoes, freelance writer, Clare Leschin-Hoar writes frequently on food, agriculture, chefs and restaurants for a number of regional and national magazines and newspapers. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alex Loud, writer, acknowledges two seminal moments in the past ten years: the birth of his daughter and his first taste of Toscanini's Burnt Caramel ice cream. He lives within walking distance of Toscanini's in Cambridge and is one of the leaders of the Boston chapter of the organization, Slow Food (www.slowfoodboston.com).
Joan MacIssac, writer, - As a restaurant chef, catering business owner and cooking class instructor, Joan brings more than 20 years professional culinary experience to Ruby Chard as Chef/ Managing Partner. After rising to executive chef at the James Beard award-winning Dahlia Lounge in Seattle, Joan returned to her hometown, Boston and founded Ruby Chard in 1996. Currently, Joan is consulting for The Food Project, working within their catering services and teaching youth a curriculum in culinary arts.
Kim Motylewski, writer, is a print and radio journalist based in Cambridge. She has written about the intersections of food, health and the environment for NPR's Living on Earth, and The Boston Globe. She can be reached at email@example.com
Seacia Pavao, photographer, is a freelance photographer based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She has BA in drama and a MA in marketing but has decided to follow her true love, photography through her recent degree from the New England School of Photography. More of her work can be seen at www.seaciapavao.com
Elizabeth Gawthrop Riely, writer, edits the Radcliffe Culinary Times, newsletter of the Schlesinger Library at Harvard, on the history of food. Her dictionary, The Chef's Companion (John Wiley & Sons), in print for 20 years, is now in its 3rd edition, marking changes in the edible landscape. You may find her at the Brookline or Newton Farmers' Market.
Pete Slonka, photographer, is a computer engineer for a small company in Kendall Square and also does IT freelance work. He is an avid Boston cyclist and enjoys photography of all sorts, from shooting to sharing with friends. His photo blog is www.slonka.com and his IT support site is www.proPCservice.com.
Paul Sussman, writer, a chef with more than 30 years behind the stove, lives in Cambridge with his wife, Jane and his kids, Isaac and Abby. The one-time owner of the popular Daddy-O's is about to open a new restaurant, Z Square, late summer in Harvard Square. He is a charter member of Chefs Collaborative, an organization formed to promote sustainable cuisine by celebrating the joys of local, seasonal, and artisanal cooking.