Freelance Food & Drinks Writer

Judith Rocks the Midwest

Back in the early 1990s, Saveur ran an article about Kansas wheat that was so compelling I tore it out and filed it away for reference. Whoever that Judith Fertig was, I thought, truly understood and loved “flyover country” and its food. When I finally met her a few years later, I realized not only was Fertig the foremost expert on Midwestern cuisine (yes, there is such a thing), she’s also the most generous, genuine and productive food writer I know.

Why am I hyping a food writer in my usually liquid space? Partly because I’m lucky enough to now count Fertig as a friend. But also because her newest book, Heartland: The Cookbook, was featured in today’s Kansas City Star. I’ve been waiting for the book since last summer, when I tagged along on dead-of-night honeysuckle blossom picking expedition with Jonathan Justus of Justus Drugstore, the restaurant’s botanist bartender Chris Conatser and Fertig’s landscape photographer, Jonathan Chester. I’m also a fan of Ben Peiper, who did the food photography and is also co-founder of the fab Four Foodies blog.

So, I’ve yet to buy the book, but I’m very much looking forward to the read and the recipes—some of which are reportedly for tasty drinkies. Makes me proud to be from Kansas.