By Dana Cowin
Updated March 31, 2015

January is a time when many of us come up with resolutions for the year ahead—we promise to eat less, exercise more, create time for hobbies. After decades of making those lists, I have to admit I rarely stick to the plan for more than a couple of months. This year at F&W, we’ve developed a few ideas that are so good, they will make keeping resolutions easy. At least I hope so!

I’m going to start by overhauling my recipe repertoire at home. That should be simple if I follow our Pantry recommendations in the Handbook. The column will showcase one new ingredient each month, which will make my cooking healthier and more diverse; we’re kicking off with almond milk, which is astonishingly excellent in dishes like rice pudding, creamed spinach and a warm almond-chocolate sauce. Equally important is sketching out a strategy for wine drinking in 2013—I’m following Executive Wine Editor Ray Isle’s advice. He suggests first drinking all the bottles in your wine fridge—this will be a fantastic excuse to throw a party. Then I’ll start fresh, with empty shelves, and restock more methodically, buying some Chianti to go with the Italian dishes I like to make and Riesling for my Chinese takeout.

On my New Year’s list, there are always a few restaurants I must try in the coming months. There are so many big openings scheduled for 2013 that we’ve already seen significant trends emerge, like chicken replacing burgers as a chef obsession. Restaurant Editor Kate Krader’s picks led to amazing recipes like the lemony roast chicken on the cover, from Atlanta chef Shaun Doty. As for the first stop on my eating tour, I’m ready to head to Puerto Rico for star chef José Andrés’s first opening outside the continental US, at the Ritz-Carlton Reserve at Dorado Beach. I hope this issue inspires you to make a list of your own food and wine resolutions for the New Year—and that you can stick to the plan!

Where I’m Coming From: my recent NYC Expeditions


Sophisticated, delicious and thoughtful, I loved Marcus Jernmark’s reimagined Swedish dishes, including a Scandinavian bouillabaisse. 65 E. 55th St.;

Sullivan Street Bakery

Perfectionist baker Jim Lahey’s new outpost has genius panini, like one with soft-cooked eggs and crisp pancetta.

Keens Steakhouse

An old-school favorite with chefs like Danny Bowien of Mission Chinese Food, the mutton chop here is extraordinary.

Contact Me

Twitter: Follow me @fwscout

Facebook: Become a fan at