Joe Yonan

Journalist, cookbook author

Washington, DC

Joe Yonan

Food and Dining editor of The Washington Post
Weeknight Vegetarian columnist
Author of "Eat Your Vegetables: Bold Recipes for the Single Cook"



Q&A with Marcus Samuelsson: Global threads and cooking’s ‘value proposition’

The famous chef, author and TV personality makes the dessert he served at President Obama's 2009 state dinner in honor of the Indian prime minister. (Jason Aldag & Jayne W. Orenstein/The Washington Post) He hasn’t stopped at restaurants, taking his star quality to such shows as “Top Chef Masters” (which he won) and “Chopped” (which he judges), telling his life story in “Yes, Chef” and demystifying the recipes of Scandinavia, Africa and America in cookbooks.
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Thanksgiving FAQs: How do I make the best, fluffiest, creamiest mashed potatoes?

From now until Thanksgiving, we’ll be answering some of the most commonly asked holiday meal questions. Have one you’d like us to consider? E-mail us or join our weekly live Web chat on Wednesdays from noon to 1 p.m. For complete Turkey Day coverage, visit our Thanksgiving Central page. For some of us, the best thing about Thanksgiving dinner isn't the turkey, or the stuffing, or even the pie.
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Free Range on Food: Thanksgiving

We answer reader questions about Thanksgiving cooking, with special guest Tarver King of Patowmack Farm.

Urban gardening: Floating row covers protect winter plants

Frankly, they look a little like Halloween decorations: billowy, semi-sheer white fabric pieces draped over two of my urban front-yard garden’s raised beds. Ghostly, or perhaps spider-webby. What I’m hoping they’ll do is anything but scary. These floating row covers can protect plants from wind and dropping temperatures as we stream through fall and into winter, and I’m counting on them to extend my garden.
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Vegetarian dishes worth Thanksgiving centerpiece status

Last year around this time, I was crowing about the fact that without a turkey to worry about, Thanksgiving planning and cooking get a whole lot less complicated. But now that I’m working on my third vegetarian version of the holiday dinner, I’m realizing that I start with the same decision every year: what to cook that will look impressive enough to take its place at the center of the table.
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Thanksgiving aha moment: To slow it down, I serve soup

Editor’s Note: This is one of five essays by Post staffers explaining how they realized a solution to a persistent Thanksgiving problem. It wasn’t until I cooked my first Thanksgiving dish — potatoes that I begged my mother to let me whip in her old stand mixer — that I started to realize her annual frustration.
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Weeknight Vegetarian: For frying at its best, learn tempura

One of those meals that has been seared into my memory is a tempura dinner in Tokyo. It was in a tiny place, with just one cook behind the bar and six of us seated at it. He swooped one vegetable or piece of seafood after another through a batter, into a wok and onto our plates, seemingly that quickly.
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Plate Lab: For Le Diplomate’s omelet, practice makes perfect

The delicate nature of eggs makes omelets a difficult dish to prepare -- and a French omelet is even more complicated. Le Diplomate in D.C. reveals their techniques. Chef Michael Abt has high standards for the omelets his team serves at Le Diplomate, the bustling 14th Street bistro. He wants a shiny, soft finish and a super-creamy, even slightly runny interior.
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Weeknight Vegetarian: Aglaia Kremezi has a way with vegetables

Aglaia Kremezi’s favorite word, said with a punch of an accent on the second syllable, is “Exactly!”. At least it was last week when we spent a few hours cooking, talking and ogling photos of Greece — and Greek food — together. Kremezi, 67, is a bubbly whirlwind of positive energy, as refreshing as the breeze that (I’ve heard, anyway) blows off the bay at her home in Kea, an island in the Cyclades.
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Weeknight Vegetarian: Black bean tortas, hold the expletives

Plenty of writers more eloquent than I have weighed in on the Thug Kitchen controversy. If you haven’t been following, here’s a shorthand version: A 20-something white couple in California have been writing an anonymous blog that marries the expletive-filled lingo of urban African American culture with vegan recipes.
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Urban gardening: In fall the work slows, but doesn’t stop

When I toured the small garden of an urban nonprofit recently, I was smiling at the sight of the greens and herbs and tomatoes, asking questions and nodding, right up until the volunteer gardener said the following: “Of course, we’re putting it to bed for the season.”. It wasn’t the time or place for me to advise otherwise.
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Weeknight Vegetarian: Chilaquiles with a twist

If you want a treatise on authentic chilaquiles, the Mexican skillet dish of fried tortillas, salsa, cheese and sometimes a fried egg, this isn’t it. Instead, I’m going to sing the praises of a dish with some of the same elements, and the same name, even though I have no doubt that some purist out there will question whether I’m allowed to call it that at all.
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Joe Yonan

Joe Yonan is the two-time James Beard Award-winning Food and Dining editor of The Washington Post and author of "Eat Your Vegetables: Bold Recipes for the Single Cook” (Ten Speed Press, 2013), which was named among the best cookbooks of 2013 by The Atlantic, The Boston Globe, and NPR's "Here and Now.” In 2011, he wrote “Serve Yourself: Nightly Adventures in Cooking for One,”. which Serious Eats, David Lebovitz, and the San Francisco Chronicle named to their best-of-the-year lists.

Joe was a food writer and Travel section editor at The Boston Globe before moving to Washington in 2006 to edit the Post’s Food section. He writes the Post’s Weeknight Vegetarian column and for five years wrote the Cooking for One column, both of which have won honors from the Association of Food Journalists. He also writes regularly about his efforts to grow food on his 150-square-foot urban front yard. His work from the Globe and Post has appeared in four editions of the “Best Food Writing” anthology.

In addition to his writing and editing, Joe frequently speaks about his work at conferences, book festivals and other events, and has taught many cooking classes through such venues as Central Market, Stonewall Kitchen, Culinaerie, L’Academie de Cuisine and SideTour.

Joe, who grew up in West Texas, spent 2012 in North Berwick, Maine, on leave from the Post to learn about growing and homesteading from his sister and brother-in-law and to work on “Eat Your Vegetables.” He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and the Cambridge (Mass.) School of Culinary Arts.