Here’s Why We Love What Food & Wine’s New Food Editor Stands For

Khushbu Shah Belatina Food and Wine
Khushbu Shah will start later this month as restaurant editor for Food and Wine magazine.Photo Credit Mike Belleme for The New York Times

Food & Wine Magazine was introduced to the world in 1978. Since then, there have been countless recipes, reviews, recommendations, travel, and food tips, that continue in circulation today. However, the publication has not quite advanced since inception. But the staple is about to get a shakeup that should rattle the established magazine enough to bring  it into modern-day times.

As a young child, I recall seeing copies of Food & Wine magazine in the waiting room of my doctor’s office. The exquisite dishes and elaborate photos of decked out table settings in preparation for holidays or summer gatherings were magical. There always seemed to be an aspect of unrealistic perfection in the layout of its pages. Over the years, despite the magazine having no evolution, a loyal readership remained in place. The loyal following will soon be tested. A new addition to its staff has the potential to appeal to a new audience that can attract younger subscribers. A new generation may find something interesting in the upgrades the new editor plans to make to the pages of the magazine.

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Khushbu Shah, a prominent, Senior Editor at Thrillist has moved to greener pastures. She has taken on the role of restaurant editor for Food & Wine. It is an exciting time for the publication, as Ms. Shah’s views on the culinary arts are more in line with today’s foodie. In a country where the population is so diverse, it’s a disservice to limit print or digital material to only reflect one type of food. The US is an international platform made up of a variety of backgrounds. The magazine, unknowingly, has an important social responsibility to fulfill. Displaying the array of cultures reflected in our society is necessary. Highlighting the multitude of differences in restaurants, food and chefs can inspire people to step out of their comfort zones. The wonderful initiative has the power to create richer food experiences. Diversification encourages people to spread cultural awareness, as well as, bond over those foodie stories we love to share. This should have been the direction to take years ago but had not been the case, until now.

We have to love Shah as the new Food & Wine Editor. She is a real voice representing the change that has been taking place in America for decades. The Indian-American and Michigan native has high and wonderful expectations. There are writers reporting about foods they share no connection with, although not a requirement it can be an added benefit. Being able to give readers a piece of their experience is priceless. Offering a personal story or anecdote can help others get a true understanding of what goes into ingredients, cooking, or feeling when eating a dish. Drawing a reader into one’s experience is a strong example of true engagement. Dare I say, it may make food articles or pieces more colorful and entertaining which keeps them coming back for more!