May 18, 2024


Cooking Is My World

Enquirer food writer Keith Pandolfi, knew he was coming back

given names: Keith Pandolfi
age: 51
who is he: Food & Dining Lighter Cincinnati Enquirer

Photo courtesy of Keith Pandolfi

At what age did you leave Cincinnati and when did you come back?

He first moved to New Orleans in 1998 at the age of 28 and returned in 2000 for a year to work at Dayton. Returned to New Orleans in 2001 and moved to New York in 2003, 2019.

Why did you go home?

I always intended to go back, but I didn’t expect it to take so long. I loved New Orleans and New York, but they always seemed temporary. When I got back here, I was a freelance writer, so I could work anywhere. My wife, Amy, worked at Scripps, which is headquartered here. Therefore, I was given the option to go back. I had a daughter, so it was just the right time.

When I leave Cincinnati, I miss more than I expected. I came back often enough to maintain my friendship. I knew there were a lot of food articles in the area, such as Kentucky and Tennessee. So I thought it was a good time to write about Midwestern and Southern food.

While you were still in New York, you were quite active as a Cincinnati champion, shedding light on the food in our area. What was it like to observe Cincinnati from NYC?

I liked having a national platform to talk about Cincinnati and its food scene. We had to fight a little more than in other cities in the national spotlight, such as Nashville and Louisville. Cincinnati is also part of the Southern, Midwest and Appalachians and does not fall into the traditional culinary category, so it is always difficult to identify from a culinary point of view.

When I was writing about Cincinnati, I was afraid that I might be doing journalism with a parachute from time to time. So I always did it right and was very careful to come back and talk to the chef.

Were you excited or hesitant to come back? A little of both?

I wanted to do my life and always thought I’d be back here. I was frustrated when I was in New York. Yeah, when does this really happen? Immediately after returning here, I soon became more comfortable and more relaxed. It’s been 20 years since I left home, and despite all the changes, I felt like I was at home.

Like many people leaving New York, I was worried that I would regret it. They miss the diversity of theater and music as well as public transport, energy and food. But I found it almost overwhelming and knew that Cincinnati had only a small amount. If I were in New York during COVID I would have been insane. I was here and rented a four-bedroom home with a backyard, which made it much easier to survive the past year. After that, we finally bought a house. I miss the New York pizza and corner slice shop.

How has Cincinnati changed since you left?

Most of the places I loved are still here, and most of my favorite friends are still here. The other way, of course, is Over-the-Rhine, which cannot be ignored as a food writer. That’s a big change. I love OTR’s chefs and talents, and the current vibrancy. But I also want to focus on places that have been there all the time, like the Tuckers. When you enter Tucker’s, you’ll see a family that has lived over the line for over 50 years. I feel that I need to keep that in mind at all times.

How is it the same as before?

Cincinnati continues its tradition, including restaurants. The area is still unique, including Pleasant Ridge, Hyde Park and Chebiot. Twenty years later, it still feels exactly the same most days.My mission for the first 6 months in Questioner It was to remind people that there are still many restaurants out there, despite everything that is happening. Blind lemon Or Highland Coffee House Or Arnold’s Things that have been there forever. I never want these places to be overlooked. Because they give the city its personality.

What are your favorite new discoveries after returning to Japan?

It is the west side. I grew up on the east side and have never explored the west side. There are many old bakeries and butchers, as well as great restaurants such as: Sebastian, Mollies Tiny Cove, And Trotta’s pizza, A place I didn’t know at the time of departure. Probably some of the most Cincinnati in Cincinnati, but to me it looks like a whole new city.

What keeps you here now?

Well, I got a job in a daily newspaper.. My friendship brought me back, many of which were rooted in high school. And the friendliness of the landscape, the architecture and the city itself brought me back. I always feel like I’m at home. I left home many times, but I don’t want to go there again. I love the eastern part of Hyde Park where I bought my first home. I have never owned a house before. I know there is a problem, but I like it. I like having a garage.

So how do you feel about working as a daily food writer during a pandemic? How do you write about your current food compared to your pre-pandemic food?

Polly Campbell was an old-fashioned food writer. QuestionerShe reviewed the restaurant and everyone was looking forward to her review. Many chefs appreciate her opinion and constructive criticism, and I decided not to review the restaurant, at least for the time being. I don’t think it’s fair to review now because they are suffering so much.

It’s really great to see how these restaurants have found a way to survive and continue. I’ve heard that restaurant employees are being abused by customers who don’t wear masks and refuse to follow the protocol, but I also hear a lot of great stories like tip-offs in crosstowns and customer generosity. ..

I can’t wait to get back to normal, but I don’t think we can cover the restaurant without considering COVID. Personally, I have decided not to eat in the restaurant yet. I mean, I’ve done it a few times, but most of the time I don’t eat. That is, when talking about my favorite salad this week, it’s basically what I’m getting That means I drive in my car and go home with a lot of Styrofoam or preferably a lot of recyclable containers. You might think that you eat out every night, but you usually drive around to pick up things and eat in the car somewhere in the parking lot.

Did you notice the moment? I’m a food writer now??

I’ve always wanted to write some sort of semi-autobiographical novel about my family in Cincinnati, but I wasn’t a good fiction writer.So i went to Sable, A food magazine that travels and has many personal essays. Being a food writer was not a prerequisite for being adopted there. I did, but as long as you’re an OK writer and a good editor, they’ll give you a chance. You’re there to learn about food, Sable It gave me a lot of knowledge and made me travel all over the country and internationally, so when I was away I felt like a food writer. With an approach like Anthony Bourdain, I realized that food is also a great way to tell other stories. The story was about food on the surface, but it was actually about something else. Sable Allowed me to tell my own story through food and was able to edit many really great writers who were far better than me.

You wrote EveryBody News Worked as an editor for Dayton’s old alternative newspaper Impact weeklyContributed to New Orleans newspapers, New York City magazines and Seriously eat website. Have you been consistent in your career and where do you think food writing is heading?

I’m really happy to be here Questioner It has a big presence on the web, but it’s still mostly print journalism. The most painful thing I witnessed while in New York was the death of such a long and slow food magazine. Sable We just announced that it will be fully digitized. Gourmet I folded it while I was there. Bonapetti We are doing this huge amount of calculations. Most people trying to get started with food writing are entering through digital platforms rather than printed matter. So by the time I left New York, I was a little depressed. There are no print magazines that I really wanted to work with, no copy editors or fact checkers.

I think it’s strange to work on the daily newspaper I was reading when I was growing up. When I was in my early twenties, all I wanted to do was work. Questioner Or a Cincinnati print magazine. I’m really, really lucky.

Has becoming a parent changed your way of thinking about food and how you write about it?

I write about the meals I ate with my family when I was a kid and the restaurants I used to go to. My father died, but my mother was fascinated by reading those stories. You never know what the kids will remember and what a truly sacred moment will be to them. .. I’m observing my daughter now, whether her lunch at Dewey’s Pizza is something she remembers when she was 25, or whether her picnic at Ault Park lasts forever with her. But I can’t create those moments for her. I try to make a memorable meal for her, like Gumbo. And she doesn’t like Gumbo. Then we sat together for dinner and she just wanted to watch TV. You have no control over the storage generator.

My dad’s house ran a restaurant. The whole of his family grew up there and his brother worked there. So food was a very deep part of his life. I’m back in Massachusetts and have nothing to do with that family. The restaurant has been closed for 60 years. I wish I had such a big family and my daughter always eats the family meals I read. Is done. But we’re just a family of three, and that’s her situation.