What I Eat

Also, he’s over 70 and still breaking records

Photos: Tom O’Connor

You’ve likely never heard of one of the fastest septuagenarians in the world — or that his diet is key to his record-breaking speed.

At 72, Charles “Buddy” Allie holds nine world records for sprinting, and he’s not done yet. He’s currently training for the Masters Indoor Championships in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in March, followed by the Masters Outdoor Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina, in July.

In 2018, he broke his own record for the 400-meter in Spain, reaching the finish line in 57.26 seconds. No one in Allie’s age group came close to hitting the under-a-minute mark.

“I’m always…

A blight wiped out the American chestnut, but it didn’t kill enthusiasm for the holiday relic

Imported chestnuts at a local Italian market in Pittsburgh. Photo: Francesca Dabecco

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire is a classic image associated with the holidays, yet for many, the tradition is no more than a line in the Nat King Cole song. And while they’re still a common street food in, say, Taiwan and parts of Europe, even during the holidays, they’ve become less common in the States.

I’m a native of the Pittsburgh area, and I’ve never roasted chestnuts or even seen a live chestnut tree. …

Chef Andrea Murdoch highlights Andean Venezuelan roots through food

All photos by Jeff Swensen

Chef Andrea Murdoch describes herself as living in multiple worlds — a woman in a man’s world, a person of color in a white world, and an indigenous person in a colonized world.

“I am actually an adopted Venezuelan,” Murdoch, 33, said. “My father was a lieutenant colonel in the Army. My mom was with him when they were in Latin America, and they got me out of an orphanage in Venezuela. My indigenous side is from the San Cristobal region, which is the far west side of Venezuela.”

Through her catering company, Denver-based Four Directions Cuisine, Murdoch combines those…

A Pittsburgh artist and baker paints portraits on cookies to showcase underrepresented cultures

All photos by Kate Buckley

In a coworking kitchen space in Pittsburgh, Jasmine Cho preps a palette of icing colors to decorate her freshly baked cookies.

She starts with the outline of a face and a base layer of icing. Next comes the hair, ears, and nose. It turns out to be Grace Lee Boggs, the legendary Asian-American author, activist, and philanthropist.

With the combination of piped royal icing and hand-painted edible coloring, Cho brings every facet of Boggs’ profile to life — from her snow-white hair to her wrinkles of wisdom.

This cookie is more than just a treat — it’s what she likes…

Francesca Dabecco

Freelance journalist with a knack for stories about food, culture, activism and sustainability. plant eater. brain tumor survivor.

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