In that job, as in my position at the Gazette, I'm fortunate to pursue topics and experiences that interest me. For that, I am most grateful.
My gratitude also extends to the Gazette's talented photographers and copy editors who give the stories so much visual appeal. Photographers Kenny Kemp, Chip Ellis, Chris Dorst and Larry Pierce have answered many last-minute calls to dash up to my house and work their photogenic magic on a dish to be featured on the next food page.
The Robinson family will no doubt appreciate meals served while they're still warm, instead of lukewarm after a delay for food styling and photographs, occasionally taken by my supportive husband, Reed. He'd gamely step in when busy staff photographers were tied up.
I often hear people lament the lack of good, local restaurants, but I think the Charleston and West Virginia food scene is changing. Chefs are stretching their creative culinary skills and more brave souls are taking the formidable risk of opening their own restaurants. They work hard to use organic and locally grown and sourced produce and meats, encouraging the growth of small family farms, which is a heritage well worth reviving and preserving.
Check out some of the restaurants presented in "101 Unique Places to Dine in West Virginia" as presented at www.wvcommerce.org through a partnership of the West Virginia Division of Tourism and the Collaborative for the 21st Century Appalachia. An updated version is coming soon based on the recommendations of food professionals throughout the state.
So get out there and try something new. A new restaurant or locally grown fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat or poultry. Grow some yourself and savor the fresh, seasonal flavor.
Eat well, my friends.
Reach Julie Robinson at jul...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1230.