Welcome to Food Lover’s Dispatch
a newsletter about food & culture
Welcome to Food Lover’s Dispatch, otherwise known as my very first foray into structured weekly writing (unless you count my participation in my middle school’s competitive essay-writing squad, Power of the Pen).
My name’s Emily. I wear many hats but at my core I’m a food and culture-obsessed storyteller. So what exactly are we gonna do over here at Food Lover’s Dispatch??
Food Lover's Dispatch is my space to share immigrant food culture, recipes and wines I love. To get new posts sent straight to your inbox, sign up for free below or consider becoming a paid subscriber to support my work
We’re going to go on adventures through some of New York’s most exciting neighborhoods to seek out the best cultural foods and hidden gems the city has to offer: everything from roti in Little Guayana to khachapuri in Sheepshead Bay. We’re going to do a lot of cooking because making dinner and then writing about it is my own special form of therapy. We’ll also talk about my *very strong* food opinions (mint chocolate chip = trash, bell peppers are a sh*tty filler vegetable, Velveeta cheese is elite, the list goes on). Oh, and we will definitely do some drinking and not just because I’m a stereotypical Russian but because I am extremely passionate about all things natural wine (yes, I’m *that* girl).
Before we really get into it, I suppose I should take a second to let you know why you should care. Or as my podcast-hosting friend always says whenever she interviews a guest: what gives you (me) the right??
For starters, I am the founder of @foodloversdiary, an Instagram account that has served as the hub for my food-based content for almost a decade - there’s a good chance that’s how you got here. It’s where I wax poetic about everything from the amazing pork buns I ate in the basement of a Chinatown mall to regional Thai cooking in Elmhurst. Maybe you’ve gone to one of my pasta pop-up dinners or purchased one of my recipe e-books?? There’s also a chance we’ve come across each other at any point during my 15-year career in food and restaurants where I’ve been everything from a hostess to a line cook (*realizes at the time of writing this means I’ve worked in restaurants for essentially half my life*). You might’ve also listened to my limited series podcast named after my Babushka (the Russian word for “grandmother”) where I go into detail about the way my own immigrant family upbringing has shaped my life.
In fact, I credit my experience as the daughter of Soviet refugees in a very American suburb of Columbus, Ohio as the catalyst for my career: it was through witnessing how my family was different from those around us, from the way we spoke to the way we ate, that I became obsessed with food and immigrant culture.
I want you to see the mess and the chaos and the happy moments that don’t make it to the ‘gram. I want you to meet my friends and feel like you’re sitting at the table right next to us by way of behind-the-scenes videos, on-the-ground voice notes and photos. This newsletter is going to be fluid and experimental and to be perfectly honest that is so not my vibe because I am painfully type A (rules! Parameters! Clarity!). Now that I’m almost 30 I’ve come to realize there’s no such thing as true direction or rules for life. I’ve also come to realize that I must be some kind of a masochist for choosing a career in the arts which requires a total relinquishing of control/predetermined pathways but I suppose this is a juxtaposition I’ll have to explore in therapy one day.
This is the part where I ask you to subscribe but I am extremely awkward/bad at forcing people to support me so all I can say is I promise this newsletter will be FUN and DELICIOUS and FUNNY and you might even learn something! Signing up is totally free and will guarantee that my posts hit your inbox. There’s also an option to support this publication financially which I would appreciate deeply. If my love and adoration aren’t incentive enough, there will also be special bonus content/perks for paid subscribers. It’s a win/win.
I am so beyond grateful for the opportunity to write and learn and share beyond the squares of Instagram. If you’d have told teenage Emily she’d one day be eating all the noodles her little heart desires and then writing about it as a freaking CAREER - well, she’d probably faint. So thanks in advance for supporting and helping me make something of myself other than the doctor/lawyer my immigrant parents dreamed I’d become. I hope I don’t disappoint them (or you) too badly :) If the boundless fun and adventure I just described sounds good to you, subscribe to join the brigade.
So excited for this!
Nice! Looking forward to weird food and maybe some Kosher restaurants.