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UP NOW A cooking star is born -- because he has stars in his eyes. Romantic ones. Mike Nizza recently left his job a rising star at The New York Times to become one in Washington. Complication? His girlfriend's still in New York.

The good part for me and for us is that he works at Atlantic Media, where he has overseen the launch of this very site -- and that Friday nights are now reserved for suppers with Julie, which he starts planning well, far as I can tell, the beginning of the week. We'll be hearing about them in his charming, romantic new series, Made For Julie, which makes its debut today with an account of his obsessing over a killer bacon cheeseburger -- along with a bonus section of terrific recipes you'll want to make even if you don't own (spoiler) a meat grinder. I already had a weakness for iceberg salad with bacon, but his chile-and maple-syrup-toasted pecans have me making out a shopping list for Friday supper. Start making out yours now.

Plus Grant Achatz starts ushering us down the new creative path we'll be discovering with him; and Jerry Baldwin shows us something that even I, coffee fanatic though far less traveled, had never even heard of: quti, a beverage made from steeping coffee leaves he found in Harrar. My consolation is that he'd never heard of it either. Mike Nizza's consolation is that he's found a new word to call his girlfriend. (And watch what you say about them in the Comments section -- he oversees that, too.)

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Corby Kummer's work in The Atlantic has established him as one of the most widely read, authoritative, and creative food writers in the United States. The San Francisco Examiner pronounced him "a dean among food writers in America." More

Corby Kummer's work in The Atlantic has established him as one of the most widely read, authoritative, and creative food writers in the United States. The San Francisco Examiner pronounced him "a dean among food writers in America." Julia Child once said, "I think he's a very good food writer. He really does his homework. As a reporter and a writer he takes his work very seriously." Kummer's 1990 Atlantic series about coffee was heralded by foodies and the general public alike. The response to his recommendations about coffees and coffee-makers was typical--suppliers scrambled to meet the demand. As Giorgio Deluca, co-founder of New York's epicurean grocery Dean & Deluca, says: "I can tell when Corby's pieces hit; the phone doesn't stop ringing." His book, The Joy of Coffee, based on his Atlantic series, was heralded by The New York Times as "the most definitive and engagingly written book on the subject to date." In nominating his work for a National Magazine Award (for which he became a finalist), the editors wrote: "Kummer treats food as if its preparation were something of a life sport: an activity to be pursued regularly and healthfully by knowledgeable people who demand quality." Kummer's book The Pleasures of Slow Food celebrates local artisans who raise and prepare the foods of their regions with the love and expertise that come only with generations of practice. Kummer was restaurant critic of New York Magazine in 1995 and 1996 and since 1997 has served as restaurant critic for Boston Magazine. He is also a frequent food commentator on television and radio. He was educated at Yale, immediately after which he came to The Atlantic. He is the recipient of five James Beard Journalism Awards, including the MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award.

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