I can’t believe 2016 is over, and how all over the place it was. I spent time in Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Canada, Mexico, and rediscovered my love for California and the United States. I survived missed flights and parking tickets, and put out some work I’m proud of. Here’s a look at some of my favorite stories from the year:
- [Los Angeles Magazine] How to Drink Scotch Like Anthony Bourdain – The most terrifying interview I’ve ever conducted. I was in a sheer panic the week leading up to meeting and interviewing my idol. I ended up only using 9 of the 15 minutes I was allotted with him. Not my best interview, not even close, but a priceless learning experience.
- [VICE Munchies] How to Eat Like the Stars of the LA Galaxy – I was stoked to get the opportunity to interview professional soccer players, and even more stoked to photograph a game on field level.
- [Food Network] The Best Things to Eat In California – It was fun driving up and down California in my Jeep to research this story for FoodNetwork.com. After spending time in Asia, I loved taking time to explore my home state and its culinary treasures.
- [VICE Munchies] Vietnam’s Traditional Rice Liquor Is Finally Going Global – The Sơn Tinh team in Vietnam was so welcoming and hospitable, and went above and beyond to make this story work out well.
- [Coconuts Bangkok] Bangkok’s insane full-body workouts turn your legs to jelly and make your glutes beg for mercy – I don’t often get opportunities to write about topics outside of food and drink, so doing a piece on working out in Bangkok was a much-appreciated palate cleanser.
- [VICE Munchies] Don’t You Dare Waste A Single Drop of Mezcal – It was magical traveling to Mexico for the first time to see how GEM&BOLT mezcal is (painstakingly) made.
- [VICE Munchies] Singapore’s Cocktail Scene is on Fire – I only had a handful of days to spend in Singapore staying with a friend’s parents, so researching this story was frenzied. Running around town finding speakeasies and meeting the city’s most influential bar industry players was a great way to take in the Singapore sights without feeling like a tourist.
- [VICE Munchies] Why Chef José Andrés Wants You to Eat Old Meat – It was surreal to be in Vegas sandwiched in a booth with José Andrés for nearly two hours of wine drinking, meat tasting, and industry talking for this story on eating mature livestock.
And on to 2017!