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DMN Hires Leslie Brenner

#1 User is offline   Scott 

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 02:00 PM

Per the Belo Eats Blog. Here's the press release...

DMN said:

Leslie Brenner Named Restaurant Critic and Dining Editor for The Dallas Morning News

DALLAS (January 21, 2009) - The Dallas Morning News announced today that Leslie Brenner, an accomplished food/restaurant critic, author and editor, has been named its new restaurant critic and dining editor.

"We are excited to have someone with Leslie's experience coming to The Dallas Morning News and GuideLive.com. Her enthusiasm and knowledge will invigorate our dining coverage and help readers get the most from the local dining scene," said Cathy Barber, deputy GuideDaily editor. "Leslie says she will arrive, fork in hand, in mid-February."

Brenner was most recently the Sunday magazine editor at the Los Angeles Times, and before that, directed restaurant, cooking and wine coverage as Food Editor for that paper's award-winning section. She was also a restaurant critic for the Los Angeles Times and founding editor of The Daily Dish food blog.

She is author or co-author of five food and wine books, including The Fourth Star: Dispatches from Inside Daniel Boulud's Celebrated New York Restaurant and American Appetite, as well as a critically acclaimed novel, Greetings from the Golden State. She has won a long list of writing and editing awards, including from the Association of Food Journalists and the James Beard Foundation. During her 20-year career, she has also been a contributing editor at Travel + Leisure and has written for Harper's, New York magazine, and many other print and online publications. She has a B.A. in English from Stanford University and an M.F.A. in writing from Columbia University.

Brenner has been in the thick of the food scene for most of her life. She once spent a week eating in Japan with Lee Hefter, executive chef of L.A.'s Spago; a year behind the scenes at New York's famed Daniel restaurant; and long weekends cooking at the Dordogne farmhouse of Francois Mitterand's former chef. She has dined in top restaurants across the country and around the world.

See an old Q&A with Brenner on eGullet.

Scott

#2 User is offline   luniz 

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 02:56 PM

Seems like a step down? Will she even last a year before she goes back to something bigger and better in LA? Can't say I'm particularly familiar with her work, guess I'll have to read those egullet forums.

#3 User is offline   Worzel_Gummidge 

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 05:31 PM

And her picture is also out, totally undermining her credibility.

Posted Image

#4 User is offline   Soulslinger 

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 06:07 PM

I didn't necessarily see a fondness for ethnic foods either like Bill Addison, just in the brief research I have done on her yesterday.

#5 User is offline   kindofabigdeal 

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 08:27 PM

SS... I haven't done any research, but I wonder if, coming from LA, that's just assumed. Less of a novelty.

#6 User is offline   Scott 

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 09:55 AM

I'd discourage any rush to judgment. To get a feel for her style and perspective, check out "American Appetite: The Coming of Age of a National Cuisine" (several used copies of which are available through Amazon for a nominal price, plus shipping). You might love it. You might pull your hair out while reading it. Either way, you'll have a better basis for deciding whether she'll be an asset or liability to Dallas food culture.

Scott

#7 User is offline   FatCap 

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 01:33 PM

Scott--DFW said:

I'd discourage any rush to judgment.

Scott


Well said, Scott, and I must say I was surprised by the "rush" exhibited by a number of frequent posters here.

Even if you don't read her books, why not wait until she has built a body of Dallas-focused work?

And the notions that BA covered "ethnic" restaurants because it's a novelty or that someone from LA would not be interested in "ethnic" cuisine because it's "less of a novelty" is just silly.

Remember, BA came to Dallas from SF, where food is at least as diverse as in LA, and had a key role in selecting LB. The first few posters about BA's initial Dallas reviews weren't all glowing, either.

What I don't yet know is whether Brenner is going to live here in Dallas, not just work here.

#8 User is offline   luniz 

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 01:46 PM

FWIW I meant a step down for her, going from editor to restaurant reviewer. She seems like more of a food writer than reviewer. But that's fine with me I just like to read interesting things. As long as she's a decent writer I'll be happy.

#9 User is offline   FatCap 

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 01:56 PM

luniz said:

FWIW I meant a step down for her, going from editor to restaurant reviewer.



Fair enough (and I am glad you clarified), but Brenner's web site indicates that she left the LA Times altogether last August...perhaps she wanted to work, period...

#10 User is offline   foodczar 

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 02:05 PM

I sincerely hope that everyone reads the egullet forums. She comes across as warm, funny, engaging, very well educated, and a very good writer. Let's hope for the best!

#11 User is offline   kindofabigdeal 

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 03:56 PM

sorry, just poorly worded. No judgment intended, except maybe on Dallas' general perception of ethnic foods. I would never suggest that Addison covered less common foods as a novelty. I never even used his name.

I meant that I wonder if there's less need for a food journalist to expose the public to other cuisines in LA than there is here, because the "fondness for ethic foods" SS referenced would be assumed. Quite the opposite of suggesting that an Angelina would not like it.

#12 User is offline   nickloubuc 

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 10:38 AM

That is not Leslie Brenner it is Evan Kleinman.
NN

#13 User is offline   luniz 

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 12:07 PM

cool NN thanks for the tip.

#14 User is offline   Scott 

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 12:12 PM

Nancy is correct. Here's Evan Kleiman's FaceBook page (with a larger version of the same photo).

kindofabigdeal said:

...there's less need for a food journalist to expose the public to other cuisines in LA than there is here, because the "fondness for ethic foods" SS referenced would be assumed.

Jonathan Gold--the only restaurant critic to have won a Pulitzer--does just that.

Scott

#15 User is offline   Kirk 

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 04:04 PM

This on the other hand is a photo of Leslie Brenner. She may have changed some since 2002, however.

#16 User is offline   Worzel_Gummidge 

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 06:38 PM

nickloubuc said:

That is not Leslie Brenner it is Evan Kleinman.
NN

You mean Sidedish got something wrong?!!!

#17 User is offline   tgubbins 

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 09:21 PM

worzel, i'm confused by your comment - i thought you were the one who posted the evan kleiman photo? (not "sidedish")

#18 User is offline   Worzel_Gummidge 

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 11:46 PM

tgubbins said:

worzel, i'm confused by your comment - i thought you were the one who posted the evan kleiman photo? (not "sidedish")


Nope. Copied from the vaults of the infallible -- SideDish.

#19 User is offline   luniz 

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 10:54 AM

although the photo on sidedish might have come from a commenter?

#20 User is offline   Worzel_Gummidge 

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 03:05 PM

Here is another picture from SideDish. Maybe this is the correct one...

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