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 Ahh, the food issue. Easily my favorite one to produce each year.

The North Fork over the years has become my favorite place to eat and I’d say it’s at its absolute best right now in terms of the range of options.

The great success of North Fork dining in recent years has been in how the restaurants continue to adapt by adding takeout and delivery options, launching food trucks and new locations.

It’s easier than ever to eat your way across the North Fork and we’re all better for it.

My favorite spread to put together for each September food issue is the “Best Things We Ate So Far This Year.” Seeing what all my colleagues selected makes me super eager to try even more. (I’m looking at you Charity Robey and the Brie Cheesecake from Vine Street Café!)

We hope the issue also inspires you to get out and try some places not necessarily on your radar.

Everyone has their fall-back options and it’s a wonderful feeling to become a regular somewhere. But don’t sell yourself short by not driving that extra couple miles out of the way to experience something different for the first time, especially in a place like this.

With that in mind, we tried our best to feature some individuals in the food world whose stories we hadn’t quite told before. Someone like Balo Alvarez who after years in someone else’s kitchen is now getting acclaim for his food truck. The origin stories of Mattituck Mushrooms and Ali Katz Kitchen were also fun to share.

Senior reporter Tara Smith felt it important in our food issue to explore the growing problem of food insecurity on the North Fork and we all agreed it was a worthy piece. After reading it and seeing the jarring number of people seeking help to maintane sustenance here, I’m so glad we did. It is a core belief of our editorial staff that while this is a lifestyle magazine, we have to occassionally find the time to look beyond the trends and glamour to find ways to use our reach to tell our audience about the struggles adjacent to the topics we cover. We felt a great source of pride when we did that around the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to look for ways to use this space to do impactful journalism. Kudos to Tara!

Each year, we’ve also used the food issue to explore a food type on the North Fork and this month contibutor Stephanie Pincar-Coleman had the great pleasure of sampling the best pizza pies around. Start preparing yourself now for the pizza cravings.

In fact, this whole issue is loaded with food content that will have you running out to the nearest eatery. That’s kind of the point of it. Mangia!