I’m writing on behalf of Jackie Newman who is looking for a new editor for Flavor and Fortune, the magazine dedicated to the art and science of Chinese cuisine that she founded twenty years ago and that she has edited (and written much of) ever since. Other familiar names who have contributed include Gary Allen, E.N. Anderson, Linda Anusasananan, Irving and Wonona Wang, Andrew Coe, Ken Hom, Diane Jacob, David Karp, Eileen Yin-Fei Lo, Ammini Ramachandran, Harvey Spiller, and Joanna Waley-Cohen.
Here’s the background. More years ago than I care to admit, I gave a paper to the Culinary Historians of New York on the foods of Hawaii. It was a wonderful gathering where I met many who have remained friends in food history.
I passed around lots of finger food samples of Hawaii’s foods. “What are we eating?” asked someone before I had a chance to explain. “Well, what you have in your hand right now,” I said, “is Spam musubi.”
Next day I had a phone call from a certain Jackie Newman who explained that she hadn’t been able to attend and asked if I could come in to the city again and meet her. When we got together, she wasted no time.
First, did I have any recipes for crack seed, as the Chinese snack food often transliterated as see mui is called in Hawaii? I had not one recipe but three. She was delighted because although she had put together the largest collection of English-language cookbooks, not one of them had recipes for see mui.
Second, if I wrote a book on the foods of Hawaii, I had to be sure to put in footnotes. Without footnoted books, history of food would never be taken seriously. I promised I would put in end notes. And I did.
Over the years, Jackie has promoted the cause of Chinese cuisine in the United States with vigor. She is the author of books on Chinese cuisine such as
Her collection of English-language Chinese cookbooks and supporting materials is now housed in the Dr. Jacqueline M. Newman Chinese Cookbook Collection at Stonybrook University.
In 2009, she was awarded the prestigious Amelia prize of the New York Culinary Historians. You can tell it’s prestigious because the other winners thus far are Betty Fussell, Jan Longone, Barbara Wheaton, and Andy F. Smith.
For the past year, Jackie has been wondering about the future of Flavor and Fortune. She is now 80. Should she just close the magazine? Or should she try to find someone to take it on? So I said I would post about it on my blog and see if anyone was interested. She laid out what any future editor might expect with her usual directness.
This is a quarterly magazine in its 20th year. Three of the upcoming issues are done. One is distributed, another is going out in a week or so, the third one is in press. Part of the 4th issue finishing up this 20th year has been written but not yet edited.
Anyone interested needs to know this is a labor of love. Most of the work is pro bono. Stamps and minor expenses can be covered, as can a very few items of chow.
The new editor needs to know it is a small niche market. There is a lot of personal satisfaction. The subscribers are a dedicated bunch. What has been written in F&F is greatly appreciated. Its articles get cited/quoted because there is not much competition in that arena. On-line articles often cite the magazine as their source. Items on minorities a real hit, so are restaurant and book reviews.
There are about ten articles per issue, plus several book and restaurant reviews. Help and contributions from others is sporadic as they work pro bono, too.
The kind of writing that is appreciated is historic, informative, and useful to English-speaking scholars. There is little in depth in books in English. I use many personal sources and a small amount of printed materials rare as needles in haystacks. I also filter out many submissions that are less-than-adequate. I use the web to check materials but it is often inaccurate.
If you are interested, please contact Jackie directly, including a short writing sample about Chinese food or Chinese food history. There’s so much still to be done. She can be reached at email@example.com
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