Letter from the Publisher
Feeding the Soul
There’s something compelling about popular, lively restaurants. Perhaps it’s the energy, the chaos, the drama or the sense that something significant is happening (cue the FOMO).
In recent times, we’ve witnessed an increased obsession with food, cooking and celebrity chefs. The coveted James Beard Awards are the Oscars of the restaurant world; earning one can be life-changing, bringing fame, opportunity and financial reward.
Raw, colorful and irreverent, Lenny Russo is a great Northern chef. In food terms, an exchange with him is akin to ingesting a dollop of wasabi — it hurts so good.
Our feature, “Living Legend” by Michael Nagrant, is a culinary tale about the life of Lenny Russo. He has been a James Beard Award semifinalist or nominee nine consecutive times without winning. This makes him the biggest loser of the annual ceremonies since they began in 1991.
It takes skill and tenacity to be successful in the restaurant business. Owning an eatery can look glamorous from the outside, but those in the know understand it’s an extremely difficult endeavor. Rudy Maxa explores this concept in “Into the Fire.”
Welcome to the food and wine issue of Artful Living. It’s filled with original content from a group of remarkable writers, covering topics from chef camps to the aquavit revival to hosting an artful dinner party. Also in this issue, we bring you the latest looks from New York Fashion Week, as interpreted by gifted illustrator Meagan Morrison.
Like most things in life, restaurants run their course. They operate in dynamic, ever-changing, unpredictable environments that make them fascinating to follow. More than simply food service, these places of congregation are the great social equalizers of our time.
Finally, here’s a toast to all the eatery owners, chefs, bartenders, servers and others who provide us with such pleasurable dining experiences that feed our souls.