Photograph by Kerri Brewer

Jane Lear is from Savannah, Georgia, and has lived in Virginia and North Carolina as well. Although she’s called New York City home for the past 30-odd years, she still manages to eat pot greens, sweet potatoes, and really good bacon at least once a week. She doesn’t feel like a New Yorker, in fact, until she gets behind the wheel of a car pretty much anywhere down South.

As the former senior articles editor at Gourmet, Lear helped expand the magazine's literary and reportorial coverage and developed the concept of an annual produce issue to connect field and fork—the first time a food magazine ever grappled with the politics of the plate. For almost 20 years, she developed and wrote regular features about culinary techniques as well as the popular "Kitchen Notebook" section, and her travel stories covered the American South, South India, and places in between.

Since the magazine ceased publication in 2009, she has written for publications that include the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Garden Design magazine, Martha Stewart Living magazine, Zenchilada, and Gourmet Live.

She is a columnist for Participant Media’s, and also pounds out a regular blog about what makes her hungry. Her books include One Spice, Two Spice: American Food, Indian Flavors, in collaboration with New York City chef Floyd Cardoz, and she was a contributor to The Gourmet Cookbook, Gourmet Today, and Martha’s American Food: A Celebration of Our Nation’s Dishes, From Coast to Coast (Martha Stewart), and The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets.

Whenever time and money allow, Lear can be found on the water, whether in a one-design racing dinghy on Long Island Sound, a jon boat on a Georgia salt creek, or an oyster barge in the Chesapeake Bay. Married to Sam Lear, a pastry chef who became an horticulturist and landscape designer (re-invention keeps them young), she divides her time between Manhattan and the North Fork of Long Island. She believes that “What did you have for dinner last night?” is one of life’s most profound questions.


©2017 Jane Lear