Tag-Team Welcome

Today marks the debut of a perfect New Year's column: getting to cook--and eat!--while training to run the Boston Marathon. License to indulge in the desserts and carbs you're careful with the rest of the year, yes you get that--if you're training, you get to eat more of everything. And, as Eleanor Barkhorn describes, you enjoy food and feel hunger in a physical way that, like the overwhelming fatigue that comes from physical exertion, is an endorphin-producing pleasure many of us who live glued to screens crave in an almost addictive way.

But you have to be careful about what you eat, too, while taking that sensational physical pleasure. Eleanor, our Food Channel producer for the past six months, answers to the description of many people who go into training: busy all day and much of the night in front of a screen, used to cooking whatever is easy, fast, and reasonably low-calorie given the time glued to a screen. But then comes that blissful hunger and its feed-me demands, and out come the recipe books.

Out come the constraints of time and budget too. That's where Eleanor's series will be focusing: on really good food that fits into all those demands. And the food she's making already is so good that it and she will inspire many New Year's resolutions. Tis the season! (Even if my own resolutions come around the start of the school year, during the Days of Awe.)

As all of our terrific contributors know, Eleanor is not just someone with the discipline and energy to both make and fulfill New Year's resolutions for each of them and pretty much every one of our readers. She is the beating-at-trained-runner's-rhythm heart of the site, the person who keeps it humming day and night. Her virtues are as limitless as, well, the number of people who wish they could cook good food for themselves every night and ponder training for the big kahuna of marathons without even breaking a sweat.

Today marks not just the return of many from holiday break, facing up to actually making some of those postponed resolutions. It also marks the arrival of someone precisely as crucial to the Food Channel as Eleanor. As she charts a new track to managing a new part of TheAtlantic.com that will make its anticipated debut next month, Eleanor will be working closely with our equally energetic and winning new producer: Daniel Fromson.

I don't think I could be more excited about the start of a new year than I am knowing I'll have the constant presence of both Eleanor and Dan, who like most of my colleagues at The Atlantic teach me things I didn't know every day (and, like all of us who spend a good portion of our lives on the Web, every night too). Readers have already begun to discover Dan's extreme interest in food in this post, about stalking wild spicebush berries hard by, as it happened Atlantic HQ. And just last week he laid down the banh mi gauntlet to the New York Times's Sam Sifton, who heretically, to Dan's mind, prefers upscale versions of the cult Vietnamese sandwich to the back-of-jewelry store counter Dan discovered.

You'll get to discover more of Eleanor and Dan over the next months--and join me in officially welcoming two young voices I'll have the pleasure of constantly listening to and learning from.

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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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