About Ed Levine

Some people count sheep when they can't sleep. I call all-night diners I have known and loved to find out what kind of pie they have.

edandhotdog.jpgI've been obsessed with the same things—food, music, sports—since I was 12 years old. The sports thing ended when I threw out my arm pitching too many curveballs in junior high school, and I was in the jazz and pop music business for many years before turning my attention to food in 1992, when my first book, New York Eats, was published. I couldn't believe my good fortune when a) people started paying me to eat and write about it, and b) it turned out that people valued my opinion about that food.

My favorite thing to do in life is discovering something truly wonderful to eat, finding out the story behind that wonderful food, and then telling the world about it. Maybe that's why Ruth Reichl called me the "Missionary of the Delicious" when she wrote about New York Eats (More) in the New York Times. The missionary gene runs in my family. My dad was a political organizer, and my mom was what I call a world organizer (she offered life advice to practically everyone she met and had a column offering said advice in our local weekly paper).

I've always taken a democratic, discerning, and passionate approach to food writing. I love to celebrate a great brownie discovery by telling everyone I know about it. That's why the internet (and Serious Eats) is, as Reichl has told me on numerous occasions, the place I was put on this earth to be.

Don't get me wrong. I loved writing for the New York Times and Gourmet and all the other magazines and newspapers that have let me do my thing for the last 15 years. But Serious Eats offers me the ability to communicate my passions and interact with people who feel the way I do. Old media takes a hierarchical, top-down approach to communicating with its audience that I have never been entirely comfortable with. Magazines and newspapers bestow information on their readers from on high. There are other ways to earn people's trust, and the web affords me a great opportunity to tell people what I think, and in turn to find out what they think. The web is the best place I know to give and get information and ideas, and that's why I love working within its confines.

I may get back to writing books sometime. I'm really proud of the New York Eats books, my pizza book, Pizza: A Slice of Heaven, and my collaborations with chefs Dave Pasternack (The Young Man and the Sea) and Tom Douglas (Tom's Big Dinners). But for now, I am so jazzed about waking up every day and hanging out with the Serious Eats communities. I couldn't imagine a better place to be.