Who Are the Free Rangers?

Friday, January 6, 2006 5:35 PM

"Will Work for Food" has been the mantra of assistant editor Bonnie S. Benwick since she was tasked to man the pressure cooker after school in her mother's kitchen. Her 25 years in the newspaper business are sandwiched by Food section jobs. She has a knack for ferreting out the best recipes from any source, but has not yet managed to find the right storage solution for them all.

The first sign that Jane Black was headed for food writing was when she chose to do a fourth-grade report on Colonial Maryland Cooking. Since then, Black has lived and eaten her way through London, New York, San Francisco, Florence and Talloires, France, and written for national magazines and newspapers on everything from truffle-hunting to the science behind why she (still) hates liver.

Leigh Lambert's love of food led her to become a pastry chef and caterer. Now the editorial assistant, she appreciates an art that can cover up its blunders with powdered sugar and icing. After spending countless hours creaming butter and whipping cream she sometimes reaches for a box. Why slave for three hours when a doctored cake mix makes them just as happy?

Jane Touzalin is a refugee from a Midwestern kitchen where pepper was considered an exotic spice. Julia Child's TV show came as a life-changing revelation. She is a career journalist whose often erratic work schedule has found her making mousse at midnight, terrines at 2 a.m., trying to make up for lost time. The Food section's copy editor, she still learns new things every week.

Food editor Joe Yonan has been cooking since he was a kid in West Texas, demanding that his mother let him whip the cream because hers was too thin. A graduate of the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts near Boston, he was an award-winning travel editor and food writer at The Boston Globe before moving to Washington, D.C. in 2006. His work appears in "Best Food Writing 2006" and "Best Food Writing 2007."

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