Food Is Life

The Atlantic has always been a general interest magazine. That's in its DNA. It's in the DNA of, too. We're inclusive and wide-ranging and forever curious.

And so today the Food channel expands into the Life channel, opening to feature many of the subjects the magazine has always considered an essential part of its purview: health and well-being, travel, design, and green, our category for sustainability—a theme that, subtly or overtly, will unite the enriched channel.

I'll miss the luxury of a channel just devoted to food, of course. What's more interesting to read and think about than growing, making, and eating food? Well, plenty—or let's say plenty that's almost as interesting. First and most important, food will continue to be an anchor. Most of our contributors will still be appearing, with the distinctive, authoritative voices that constantly delight me. We'll feature food pieces every day, with an emphasis as always on food policy and sustainability (and less on recipes). You'll see a number of our favorite writers get to write more about subjects that are already at the center of their expertise, including travel and design. I'll get to write about travel, too, long a happy part of my Atlantic duties—including a gala launch-week piece on recently rediscovering Rome through the eyes of my stepdaughter, Jess, who'd never been and was marking a milestone birthday.

Dan Fromson, whom I always refer to as our ace producer and who will be the Life editor, has proved himself even more ace at devising a set of regular features that give shape and focus to the site, with a new emphasis on photography that means there will be beauty and surprise every day. He's found an exciting introductory lineup of the kind of writers who have made us so proud of the Food channel—stylish, contrarian, celebratory, onto things before anybody else is. Life will be provocative, quirky, informative, and fun (as it should be!)—what we've had so much fun doing together on Food, only now with literally the globe to wander.

You've got to be a part of it, too. Please tell us what you think, and what you want more of. And—ask questions! One of our new regular features is "Ask Corby." Which means, of course, being provocative and quirky, and putting me on the spot. I'm known around the place for being rather free with advice (I'm an editor, after all). So now Bob Cohn and J. J. Gould, heads of the site, and Dan, have told me to go public. I'd add, Help save me from myself, but I'm pretty sure that's not what they have in mind. Ask away, then, at

And now over to Dan, for a guided tour of the wonders in store. He's as much a lover of beer as I am of coffee (and he likes coffee a lot, too), so I'm sure he'll be pleased when I say he's come up with a very rich brew.

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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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