How to Pitch

MelissaMcCart

What we’re looking for

Our unexpected hiatus had an upside: After a month to think about our core and our spirit and — without making any mistakes (we didn’t post anything!) — we know more about what we’re doing than we did back in March.

In any event, we are actively looking for pitches. We pay well and we are awesome to work with. We want to hear what you’re passionate about. A little detail, and some examples:

Investigative reporting and deep dives

Photo: Brigaid

We are looking for deeply reported pieces from seasoned food writers as well as beat reporters who have sources in tech, labor, agriculture, business, politics, arts and culture, sports and the outdoors. We’ll also consider pieces by enthusiastic novices who demonstrate commitment and passion.

A couple examples: Elizabeth Dunn’s piece on grass-fed dairy on the rise as the USDA fails to enforce organic standards; Andrea Strong’s fearless examining how New York City public schools are exacerbating the public health crisis with a school lunch program that fails to offer healthy options for over 900,000 students.

Other stories like this we like: Boyce Upholt’s Killing Season; Lauren Hilgers on America’s underground Chinese restaurant workers; Gosia Wozniacka’s Is it a farm if it doesn’t sell food?; Tracie McMillan’s 19 great restaurants to work for.

Compelling profiles

Photo: Leah Penniman

Whether it’s farmer-activist Leah Penniman or a chef who took herself out of the limelight, we’re looking for timely pieces on people who are doing things differently and making a difference. They could be about your grandmother or a celeb or whatever (in relation to food).

Stories we like elsewhere: Vince Dixon’s Heaven was a place in Harlem; Helen Rosner’s profile on Niki Yakayama; Kathryn Schultz’ Citizen Khan.

Stories about injustice related to food

Graphic: Alexa Miller

This is of course a big topic that is perennially undercovered. Labor, race, gender, immigration, inequality in general, and so on. Check out Tunde Wey’s piece on Whateverwhere’s newest New American restaurant; Lisa Rab’s piece her piece about taking on racism in restaurants, specifically in North Carolina.

Other stories like this we like: Maura Judkis’ Why is the restaurant industry so terrible for women?; Natalie Shure’s The revolution will be cooked.

Health

Photo: Rosario Scalia/REDA&CO/UIG via Getty Images

Food and agriculture and health and environment: We want writing about how they intersect. (On nutrition alone, we are lucky enough to have David Katz, who takes a simple subject and makes it ok for us to acknowledge that it’s simple instead of trying to complicate it. )

Take a look at his piece on why nutrition science is in a crisis right now, as well as what happens when a country disempowers lobbyists when in advising its citizens how to eat.

Other stories we like: The sugar in fruit doesn’t make it bad for you, despite some trendy diet claims.

Cooking across life stages — and cooking narratives, period

Photo: Catherine Falls Commercial

We love Matt Ufford’s The grown-up’s case for kid food and we’ve got a piece in the works about how being an overworked grad student reignited a writer’s love for cooking.

Also take a look at glory of timbale, why tofu scramble is better than eggs, or the real way to make French toast.

Other stories we like: The joy of cooking for one in honor of Anita Lo’s cookbook; Noodle school; Cathy Erway’s Subtle thrills of cold chicken salad.

Restaurants

Photo: Johnny Fogg

Generally speaking, we feel that restaurants are overcovered. But when we do cover restaurants, they’re about those that have been around awhile, from icons to holes in the wall that have a story in themselves or that shape your own story. We’re also doing deep dives into a street or a neighborhood, like Rachel Wharton’s Hometown Appetite piece on San Antonio’s West Side.

For reference, take a look at Mike Sula’s fantastic love letter to Birrieria Zaragoza in Chicago and Nick Birnback’s piece on Noodle Pudding.

In defense of…

State your position and convince us: Why you should ditch your Keurig coffeemaker for the Bialetti or the percolator or a pour over. Why you should use meat as a seasoning instead of the center of a dish. Why you make your own stock to have on hand, all the time. Why you should forgo restaurant delivery. Why you should tip in cash.

What else?

Personal narratives. How tech is changing how we eat. More joy. And anything related to food that will make us laugh. Pitch us ideas we would never have imagined.

Get in touch with us at heatedbybittman@gmail.com.

MelissaMcCart

Written by

Editor of Heated with Mark Bittman on Medium. Dog mom. Pho fan. Send me your pitches: melissamccart@gmail.com

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