I've eaten Rhode Island wieners (don't call them hot dogs), Belgian "barbecue" and Japanese fugu, and I once sampled 27 items from 23 carts in a five-day street-food extravaganza. I got the cooking bug from my Indiana-born mother, who let me shop for the family groceries starting at age 8 and indulged my demands to use her stand mixer because I thought it was too cool -- and I thought she underwhipped the cream and overwhipped the potatoes. Although I'm now vegetarian, the first real dish I learned how to make was chicken-fried steak.

Now, I am the Food and Travel editor of The Washington Post, where I've worked since moving to Washington from The Boston Globe in 2006. I'm proud that my great team at the Post has twice been awarded the James Beard Foundation award for the nation's best newspaper food section.

I'm also a writer: I pen occasional features for both Food and Travel, including the occasional "Cooking for One" column, which has won honors from the Association of Food Journalists, and the Weeknight Vegetarian recipe column. My writing for the Post and The Boston Globe has appeared in three editions of the "Best Food Writing" anthology. I'm the author of "Serve Yourself: Nightly Adventures in Cooking for One," published by Ten Speed Press in March 2011, and the coauthor of "The Fearless Chef" with Boston chef Andy Husbands. In 2012 I took a yearlong leave from the Post to leave with my sister and brother-in-law in southern Maine, where I helped them with their homestead, cemented a move toward vegetarianism, and worked on my next book, "Eat Your Vegetables: Bold Recipes for the Single Cook" (Ten Speed Press, August 2013).

I was born in Albany, Ga., but my family moved to San Angelo, Texas, before I was a year old, and I was raised there. After realizing my passion was to combine food and journalism, I earned a professional chef's diploma from the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts outside Boston. I earned a bachelor of journalism in 1989 from the University of Texas at Austin.

Want to contact me? If it's for personal communication or queries related to my book or any of my work outside The Washington Post, please do so here. If it's related to The Washington Post Food or Travel sections, including pitches, please do so here.

WaPo’s Yonan signs deal to write cooking-for-one book

Washington City Paper's Young & Hungry blog, by Tim Carman
Aug. 7, 2009

The Post Food Section’s Cooking for One was an initially a column that anyone in the right demographic — single and loving to cook alone — could write. It might be  a freelancer. It might be a staffer. But since November of last year, section editor Joe Yonan has owned the series, writing on subjects as varied as sweet potatoes and toaster ovens.

So it comes as no surprise that Yonan just signed a deal with Ten Speed Press to write a Cooking for One cookbook. Yonan took a few minutes this afternoon to answer some e-mail questions from Y&H.  The Q&A is after the jump.

Continue reading here.

"What's in Your Fridge?"

Brightest Young Things blog, June 2, 2010

Things you should know before we start: Joe Yonan is the editor of the Washington Post's food section and an amazing chef. He has been spending the last seven or eight months working on his new recipe book "Serve Yourself: Nightly Adventures in Cooking for One," which should be completed in a few weeks, containing about 100 recipes and a number of essays on the art of eating well while only cooking for yourself. He's a calm, charming man who has been pent up developing recipes daily in his Dupont apartment along with his doberman Red. I would describe Joe as a mad scientist of a chef, coming up with various concoctions and trying just about every variation of ingredients until the mixture has been perfected. His fridge and freezer were packed with Ball jars containing these compounds along with what seemed like only market or high end specialty store products. His knowledge of worldly foods and techniques blew me away a bit...as if there were any doubt, Joe definitely knows his eats.

Continue reading here.