Rachel Wharton is the former deputy editor of Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan. She won a 2010 James Beard food journalism award, holds a master’s degree in Food Studies from New York University, and has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and reporter. A North Carolina native and a former features food reporter for the New York Daily News, she edited the Edible Brooklyn cookbook and was the co-author of both Handheld Pies and DiPalo's Guide to the Essential Foods of Italy. Her work also appears in publications such as The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Saveur.

    Additions to our Winter Issue: Online Editions, Three Extra Recipes and One Correction

    If you haven’t yet found a copy of the new winter issue of Edible Brooklyn, you always can read the whole issue right here online. (Though don’t forget that should you choose to subscribe, not only is the print version delivered right to your door, you also get the free Edible app.) As usual, we’ve also got a few extras here in the digital sphere, which we think you’ll like. The recipe for Judge Mike Pesce’s Limoncello, from a story (“The Lure of Limoncello”) on his annual making of the bright-yellow Italian digestif. And from our profile of One Girl Cookies in Cobble Hill (“Cookie Monsters”) recipes for two of their incredible sweets–Spiced Ginger Oatmeal Drops and Fresh Pumpkin Pie with Salty Roasted Pepitas.

    Congrats to Chef Jason Weiner, Who Cooks on Two Islands and Was Winner of Last Night’s Latke Cook-Off

    Congratulations to chef Jason Weiner of Almond restaurant–there’s one in both Bridgehampton in Long Island and on East 22nd Street in Manhattan–who won last night’s Edible Brooklyn/Great Performances latke fest and cook-off at BAM. We’re especially pleased that Weiner’s latke, a last-minute entry, was topped with smoked bluefish caught by one of his Long Island staffers, and that it was mama Weiner’s recipe: An Edible-minded creation if there ever was one.

    Missing Our Latke Cook-Off at BAM Tonight? The Daily News Has a Few of the Winning Recipes

    Tonight we’ll be co-hosting the sold-out third annual Latke Cook-off at BAM, where 15 chefs and Dori Fern, the talented Edible Brooklyn reader who won our amateur recipe contest, will compete in the contest to crown the greatest Hanukah potato pancake of all. If you’re missing out, don’t worry, the Daily News did a preview piece on the event yesterday, and scored not just the recipe for Fern’s “Double-Happiness Latkes topped with Five-Spice Duck Confit” but those of a few of her fellow contestants, too.

    Our Very Extremely Last Minute Gift Guide for Discerning Brooklyn Food Folks

    For all those headed out there in the next few days to hunt down one last gift for your holiday list, we’ve got a few ideas. In fact, last-minute gifts are practically the only kind we give. So here goes… 1. Buy a couple of Ball or Mason jars from your local hardware/kitchenware store and any of the canning, pickling and preserving books cataloged here by the Punk Domestics, a very modern DIY site dedicated to preserving traditional foodways. (We must admit our favorite is Tart & Sweet, by Brooklynite Kelly Geary, whom we’ve lauded countless times on these digital pages ourselves.)

    Beer Here? Brewed Awakening Author Josh Bernstein Takes Us on a Video Tour of Three Surprisingly Good Pubs

    Brewed Awakening—the new book chronicling America’s growing craft beer movement—was penned by Joshua Bernstein, a Brooklynite, beer brainiac and occasional Edible contributor: In fact, he’s working on a profile of Chelsea Brewing Company for Edible Manhattan January Drinks issue right now. The book is one of the top hits on our holiday gift list, so given his knowledge of craft beer, we asked Bernstein to belly up at three surprising best of class bars in Manhattan for our weekly NY1 segment. (Surprising because everyone knows that Brooklyn is the borough leading the call to great craft beer.) His sudsy trip through lower Manhattan airs today and Sunday. Can’t catch his picks on the small screen? No worries, you can find out where he goes on an even smaller one right here.

    Alert Your Barkeep: The Great King Street Cocktail Competition Begins

    While researching the next edition of Edible Manhattan–the annual Alcohol Issue that arrives January 1–we had the pleasure of hanging out with the founder of Compass Box at the 12th annual WhiskyFest, which took over the Marriott Marquis last month. John Glaser is an American-born maker of Scotch, which is rare enough already. But more importantly, he’s perhaps the only man in Scotch focused on mixing handcrafted boutique blends from single malt and high quality grain whiskies from other Scottish sources, rather than distilling them himself.

    Bushwick’s Big Bash is This Friday: The Winter Solstice Party

    If you’ve gotten your hands on our current issue, you probably want to a) hit the Bushwick Farmers’ Market’s Winter Solstice Feast and b) encourage the spread of hydroponic gardening by Bushwick master Lee Mandell, who runs Boswyck Farms in the nabe. The Winter Solstice Feast this year–it’s this Friday, December 16; RSVP today–will support all of the above.

    Only in Williamsburg: Locavore Gift Baskets at the Corner Store

    We probably don’t have to tell readers with tendencies toward procrastination that a great last-minute holiday gift is a few of any of the products we cover in our pages. This year that’s even easier courtesy Depanneur, the specialty foods, corner store and sandwich shop on the corner of Wythe Avenue and North Third Street in Williamsburg. The place (it’s kind of like a gourmet bodega) assembled a few not-your-grandma’s gift baskets made up of mainly locally made goods in cool old wire-frame boxes we wouldn’t mind keeping around.

    A New Diners’ Guide Looks Not at Food or Service, but at Your Waiter’s Quality of Life

    In case you missed it last Thursday, we just wanted to point your attention to a brand-new national diner’s guide–but unlike those from Zagat or Michelin, when this one considers the staff, it’s not thinking of service. Instead, the new National Diners’ Guide 2012: A Consumer Guide on the Working Conditions of America’s Restaurants evaluates whether 150 of popular restaurants around the country provide paid sick days, pay at least $9 per hour to non-tipped workers and at least $5 to tipped workers, and provide opportunities for workers to advance. The guide, from the non-profit restaurant worker group called Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (or ROC), is available free online right here.