Food — glistening, porny, local, meaty, vegan, hipster, 5-star, trailer-prepared, luscious food — is having a moment right now, is it not?

Arguably, this “moment” has been happening for the better part of the last decade, and via my work with Citysearch and the Hungry Channel this year, I feel lucky to ride its slippery coattails. I’ve felt even more lucky to work with people who are so very knowledgable about food, so since our “Hungry In” series went live about a few weeks ago, I wrote all my co-hosts and asked them if they would participate in a short little interview together. (This is a little bit like the time I was walking around at the Austin Food & Wine Festival and saw my husband’s #1 TV crush, Andrew Zimmern, being interviewed and almost got the gumption to go talk to him — almost! — but shrank back as he bellowed forth to his real interviewer about rattlesnake lasagna…but now, now I doth not shrink. Wither shrinkage? NOT HERE.)

“Hungry In” targets local eating in five cities — New York, LA, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Austin — and if we get renewed for a second season, Philadelphia will join us as well. I asked everyone to answer two questions for me: How did you become a professional foodie? And, when you’re not eating/drinking/writing about food, what are you doing?

Read below for their answers!

Josh Ozersky of Ozersky.TV, TIME Magazine, Esquire, Host: “Hungry In…New York”

How did you become a professional foodie?
I was always obsessive and grandiloquent on the subject of food, and had even done some food writing in my 20s. But It wasn’t until 2003, when I wrote Meat Me in Manhattan for a small press, that I arrived on the scene — albeit under the pseudonymn “Mr. Cutlets.” The book led to my becoming a restaurant critic, and then the founding editor of Grub Street, and then national restaurant editor for Citysearch, and then writing for TIME, and OTV, and so on. It’s been a decade of toil and gluttony and I wouldn’t have missed a day of it.

When you’re not eating/drinking/writing/talking about food, you are:

Marcia Gagliardi of The Tablehopper, Host: “Hungry In…San Francisco.” Photo credit Kelly Puleio

How did you become a professional foodie?

My background was in advertising (I was a traffic manager and copywriter), and all I usually spent my money on was food (and travel—so I could go to places, and eat there). I have always been my friends’ go-to person for recommendations (a few call me OnStar). So when I got laid off from m

y ad agency gig in 2000, and after doing some freelance projects, I decided to follow my dream of writing about restaurants and started pitching magazines. Funnily enough, my first reviews were on Citysearch.

I launched in 2006 because I couldn’t believe San Francisco didn’t have a weekly newsletter about restaurant news—and not just the big ones, but hole-in-the-wall spots, and cafés, and bars, too. It’s been a wild ride. I now have a book (The Tablehopper’s Guide to Dining and Drinking in San Francisco), an app (Top Late-Night Eats in SF), a weekly radio spot (“You Gotta Eat This”), and am the contributing food editor for 7×7 magazine. As my mother said, “Marcia, leave it to you to make a living out of eating.”

When you’re not eating/drinking/writing/talking about food, you are:
Drinking Champagne.

Adrianna Adarme of A Cozy Kitchen, Host: “Hungry In…Los Angeles.”

How did you become a professional foodie?
I was a few years out of college, working at a production company and sort of bored and uninspired. I started it as a hobby, of sorts. I’d spend all of my free time (weekends and nights) cooking and trying out different recipes, so I decided to share my experiences with the internet. For months there were, like, two readers: my mom and dad. But, much to my surprise, eventually people started to tune in.

When you’re not eating/drinking/writing/talking about food, you are:
Talking/thinking and watching movies.

Brian Freedman of FDT Report, Host of “Hungry In…Philadelphia”

How did you become a professional foodie?
Food and wine have always been a focus. My father is a wine collector and my mother is a fantastic cook, and from the time I was 6 years old, every night, before dinner, my father and I would walk into the kitchen, my mother would tell us what she was cooking for dinner, and he and I would head down to the cellar and choose a bottle. We’d then sit at the coffee table and taste it together–I always had a splash in my glass, even as a child. From then, I think, my course was set, and though I had a number of professional detours, I always knew I wanted to write and talk about food and wine. Since then I’ve studied both food and beverages, traveled extensively, and thank my lucky stars every day that I get to do this for a living.

When you’re not eating/drinking/writing/talking about food, you are:
Golfing poorly but passionately, traveling, raising my 22-month-old daughter with my wife, and fighting the good fight against her eating the standard kids’ diet of chicken fingers and mac n’ cheese.

Erica Bethe Levin of Cheeky Chicago, Future Host of “Hungry In…Chicago”

How did you become a professional foodie? was formed so that the ladies of Chicago had a resource on where to go/what to do. Eating/dining out has always been my favorite activity and as it turns out, it’s the favorite activity of our readers as well (our “Eats” page is the most popular). I grew up eating — my parents took me to Aureole in NYC when I was 6!, plus my mom is the best “chef” I’ve ever known — and I started working in “the industry” at 15. I continued for the next 10 years, even while holding down full-time jobs, writing gigs and start-up businesses. It wasn’t until four years ago when I started Cheeky that I stopped working in restaurants and started writing about them. It’s a dream come true, and my parents can stop worrying about me having been a theatre/writing major.

When you’re not eating/drinking/writing/talking about food, you are:
Cooking up new recipes I found on Pinterest or in Jean Georges’ new cookbook.


So there you have it! What a bunch of charmers, right? If you haven’t seen it yet, my first “Hungry In…Austin” episode can be found here, and my next one comes out a week from this Friday (November 9)! In the meantime, watch my favorite episode yet from the season: The hopelessly carnivorous Josh Ozersky waxing eloquent about Manhattan’s Chinatown.