Columnist for Esquire and Bloomberg News

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John Mariani    ❘    Christopher Mariani    ❘    Robert Mariani

 Brian Freedman    ❘    Andrew Chalk    ❘    Mort Hochstein    ❘    Carey Sweet   
❘    John A. Curtas

John Mariani-Chief Editor

John Mariani is an author and journalist of 30 years standing, having begun his writing for New York Magazine in 1973.  Since then, he has become known as one of America’s premiere food writers  (a three-time nominee for the James Beard Journalism Award) and author of several of the most highly regarded books on food in America today. He has been called by the Philadelphia Inquirer, “the most influential food-wine critic in the popular press.”  His first book, The Dictionary of American Food & Drink  (Ticknor & Fields, 1983) was hailed as the "American Larousse Gastronomique" and was chosen "best reference book on food for 1983" by Library Journal.    After a decade when the book was declared a "classic" of American food studies, Hearst Books issued a completely revised edition in 1994. In 1999 Lebhar-Friedman published a revised, expanded version entitled The Encyclopedia of American Food & Drink. For 35 years he was Esquire Magazine's food and travel correspondent and for ten years wine critic for Bloomberg News.  He currently write a bi-weekly blog for Huffington Post.
     Mariani' s second book. Eating Out: Fearless Dining in Ethnic Restaurants (Quill, 1985) was called by Food & Wine Magazine “a diner's manual to guerilla tactics for restaurant survival." His third book, Mariani's Coast-to-Coast Dining Guide (Times Books, 1986), which he edited, was widely acclaimed as the American counterpart to France's Guide Michelin. His next book, America Eats Out (William Morrow, 1991) won the International Association of Cooking Professionals Award for Best Food Reference Book.  From  1989 through 1999  Mariani co-authored  annual editions of Passport to New York Restaurants (Passport Press) and was editor of  Italian Cuisine: Basic Cooking Techniques  (Italian Wine & Food Institute), which became the textbook for  Italian cooking studies at the Culinary Institute of America, and he has written the food and restaurant sections of the Encyclopedia of New York City  (The New-York Historical Society and Yale University Press, 1995) and contributed entries to Chronicle of America (Chronicle Publications).
   Mariani's other books include The Four Seasons: A History of America's Premier restaurant (Crown, 1997; revised 1999); Vincent's Cookbook (Tenspeed Press, 1995), with chef Vincent Guérithault; The Dictionary of Italian Food & Drink  (Broadway Books, 1998) which was nominated for an IACP award; and, with Marie Rama, Grilling for Dummies (IDG Books), which first appeared in 1999 and was revised in 2009. His new book is How Italian Food Conquered the World (Palgrave-MacMillan, 2011).


Christopher Mariani-Contributing Editor and Writer

Christopher Mariani is a food and travel writer for the Virtual Gourmet and features a weekly column called "Man About Town." Christopher travels around the world reporting on new restaurants, the gastronomy of cities, travel and culinary events. Prior to his writing career Christopher worked for over nine years in the restaurant business starting at a family-style Italian restaurant called Ciao's in Eastchester, NY before working in Greenwich, CT at an upscale modern American restaruant named Rebeccas. He travels most of the year and continues to reveal some of the world's best new restaurants and foods.  


Robert Mariani-Contributing Writer

Born in the North Bronx, Rob Mariani currently lives in Bristol, RI. In addition to a successful career in advertising as creative director, copy writer and agency partner, Rob was the restaurant writer for for 5 years, and a contributing essayist to He has also written comedy sketches for The National Lampoon Radio Show. His travel writing has appeared in Specialty Travel Magazine and recently Rob's travel essay on Ireland and Irish Whiskey was a finalist in the New Yorker's "On the Town" sort essay contest. He is the founder and president of the Creative Communications Club of Providence, and has taught Creative Concepts and Copy Writing courses at Rhode Island School of Design and at Johnson & Wales University, and has been a guest lecturer at CCRI and Roger Williams College. His short stories and poems have been published in a number of regional magazines. He is also the co-author with his brother, John, of Almost Golden, a Bronx memoir.


Brian Freedman-Wine Columnist

Brian Freedman is a food, wine, spirits, and travel writer, restaurant and beverage consultant, drinks educator, and event host and speaker. He is Editor-in-Chief of Drink Me Magazine, a contributing writer for John Mariani’s Virtual Gourmet and Philadelphia Style Magazine, and restaurant critic and beverage columnist for Philadelphia Weekly, Suburban Life Magazine, and Philadelphia Life Magazine.



Andrew J. Chalk

Andrew Chalk is a Dallas-based author who writes about wine, spirits, beer, food, restaurants, wineries and destinations all over the world.  He is Editor at CraveDFW, Senior Writer at Texas Wine and Trail Magazine, contributing writer at John Mariani’s Virtual Gourmet, contributing writer at Palate Press and contributing writer at Cocktails+Joints. He has also written for D Magazine, A full listing of his recent articles can be found here.

He holds the WSET Level 3 certification in wines and spirits. When not writing he can usually be found participating in his favorite sport of soccer.


Mort Hochstein-Wine and Spirits Columnist

Mort Hochstein, former editor and producer for NBC News and the Today Show, and former managing editor of Nation's Restaurant News, writes  on wine, food and travel for Wine Spectator, Wine Business  Monthly, Saveur and other food and wine publications.


Carey Sweet - Contributing Writer

With almost two decades of writing about food, restaurants and the  chefs that make them happen, Carey Sweet has won numerous national  restaurant criticism and food writing awards, including First Place in the nation from the Society of Professional Food Journalists. A near-native of Arizona, Sweet now lives in Sonoma County, splitting her time between Scottsdale and the North Bay, where she is active in professional food and wine memberships and activities. She is a regular contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle (covering restaurants, food and wine, and travel), 944 San Francisco magazine (restaurants, chefs and food), and numerous other North Bay publications. In covering Arizona's food industry, she contributes to numerous publications, including a weekly Dining News column for the Arizona Republic, plus regular restaurant reviews and food feature stories for the newspaper and its several affiliate magazines. She has a monthly food feature column in Phoenix Magazine, as well as regularly scheduled restaurant reviews and travel features emphasizing culinary adventures. A wine lover, she also consults for a boutique winery with vineyards in Chile and Argentina. View clips at



John A. Curtas has been the voice of the Las Vegas food and restaurant scene since 1995. His weekly radio commentaries air on KNPR-Nevada Public Radio, 88.9 FM, and he can been seen Friday mornings as the restaurant critic for KLAS TV, CBS Channel 8 in Las Vegas, In addition to those duties, he is the restaurant critic for Las Vegas Weekly magazine


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