Twelve stories I wrote in 2015

Shoutout to everyone who read/shared/ridiculed one of my stories this year. My job can be weird and challenging but it’s fun and I learn a lot doing it. Feedback of all kinds means a great deal. Thanks so much.

I’m pretty critical of myself when it comes to things I write, but these 12 clips from 2015 are among my favorites.

North Jersey Special: The Tale of Belmont Tavern’s Chicken Savoy [Serious Eats]

A state monopoly squeezes those in the booze business of Pennsylvania [Lucky Peach]

Order a Sloppy Joe in Jersey and You Won’t Find Ground Beef [Serious Eats]

Movies are life in the moving Me and Earl and the Dying Girl [City Paper]

Can the Mojito’s Reputation Be Saved? [PUNCH]

Fast, funny and fresh, Dope is the coming-of-age tale we needed [City Paper]

Modern Filipino Cuisine Is Quietly Having a Moment [Food Republic]

Horror Star Vincent Price Eerily Predicted America’s Culinary Future [Serious Eats]

House Rules: Dungeons & Dragons & Drinking [PUNCH]

Sam Jacobson Brings Proper British Pie And Mash To Philadelphia [Food Republic]

The weird pizza sculptures of Philadelphia [Saveur]

Coquito is a seasonal toast to Puerto Rico [Daily News]

Acts of Will

My story on Chris Kearse, the chef at Pumpkin who will soon open Will, his own restaurant, in South Philly. I’ve done quite a few stories on chefs since I started covering food, but none of them compare to the experience I had writing this one. Chris’ story is powerful and singular, and throughout the process I worried that I wouldn’t do it justice. But Chris liked the way it turned out, and that’s really all that mattered to me.

My dude Neal Santos did an incredible job with the photos for this project. He captured Chris and his food beautifully. This is my personal favorite of the bunch.