Issue 28

Letter From the Publisher: Issue 14

Letter From the Publisher: Issue 14

As I hope you’ve come to expect, this issue of Food & Spirits Magazine, our 14th, is loaded with some excellent articles and accompanying photographs from our regular contributors. Some of our former writers are also making a timely reappearance, along with a talented batch of newcomers. If we’ve established high expectations in the past, I don’t think you’ll be let down this time around.

We also decided to do a few things differently in this issue. We got a little bit ‘artsy’ and we went back to high school.

You see, we’ve always talked a big game when it comes to evangelizing the creative community here in Omaha. After all, FSM has been built on the valuable contributions of the many talented writers, photographers, illustrators and designers that have graced our pages. Not to mention all of the extremely talented and creative folks within the food and spirits industry, which we cover. So too, we couldn’t be happier about the dynamic developments our fair city has been seeing over the past couple of years.

Although all of our contributors are artists in their own right, we’ve always wanted to work with some ‘actual’ artists (you know, painters, sculptors, installation artists, etc.). We got that opportunity this issue when some exceptional local artists stepped up and helped us produce some the pieces you’ll see in the coming pages.

Hopefully, you’ve noticed one such piece on our cover. It was done by local impresario Wayne Brekke who, among many other things, is a writer, musician, dad, husband, podcaster and just an all-around good guy. Obviously, he’s a pretty darn good artist, too. You’ll also find paintings by Mark Daniels and Sydney True. Additionally, we’ve got some great photos of an installation art piece by Jamie Danielle Hardy. All of them were kind enough to collaborate with us on this issue and we couldn’t thank them enough.

You’ll also notice many of the articles work around the theme of food and spirits as art. On the food side of things we’ll take a look at cake decorating and cheese as the delectable art that it is, while in spirits we’ll look at beer bottle art and the emerging craft cocktail industry. To round the theme out, we even got another type of artist to lend us a hand by contributing an article. Scott Zrust, drummer for local sensations Rock, Paper, Dynamite, takes us on one of the band’s recent road trips to enlighten us on what a group of kick-ass musicians eat on the road.

‘Artsy’ indeed.

Any good publication is always looking for new ways to get more people in the community engaged, and we are too. That led us to revisiting the halcyon days of high school. Through mostly happenstance, we were able to connect with some of the dedicated teachers at Benson High School.

Justine Garman, a journalism instructor, and Ronda Bruggeman, a culinary arts instructor, teamed up to allow us to do a two-page spread on the culinary arts program at Benson High School. Current student and aspiring journalist, Nautica Lloyd turned in commendable design and an excellent article, while student photographers, Rhylee Richardson and Perryanna Thomas added the art. Ted and Wally’s Premium Homemade Ice Cream stepped up to the plate and kindly agreed to sponsor the section which helped make it all possible. We’re honored to be involved with such a community-based project and we’ll certainly do more of this in the future.

And as always, we thank you, our readers – it wouldn’t be worth it unless we had you along for the ride, too. We very truly hope you enjoy it.

Erik Totten

Erik Totten

Erik Totten is the founder and publisher of Food & Spirits Magazine in Omaha, Nebraska. He’s worked in publications for the last 21 years at all levels. As well as serving as a writer, designer, photographer and editor, he’s also founded two publications which have allowed him to grow into being a publisher, which he would describe as his ‘true calling’.


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