Let's start by stating the obvious: There have been big changes to the L.A. Weekly's food section recently. And there are even more on the way.

After our longtime critic Jonathan Gold departed for the L.A. Times, we've been nibbling on this and that: a reflection on cookbooks from Roy Choi, a piece by “reverse coyote” Bill Esparza, who takes foodies to Tijuana, an essay by restaurateur Jason Bernstein about L.A.'s craft beer revolution.

We've enjoyed these amuse bouches, but it's time to sit down to an actual dinner. And so, to that end, we've assembled a team intent on publishing the best food coverage in L.A. — both in print and online, and all gloriously free.

First and foremost, Amy Scattergood, the editor of this blog, has been promoted — with a title that actually reflects the work she's been doing for a while now. As the L.A. Weekly's new Food Editor, she's responsible not just for Squid Ink but also for organizing and curating our entire food section. As co-author of a James Beard Award-winning cookbook and a culinary school graduate, Amy knows food, and as an alumna of the Iowa Writers Workshop, she knows writing. We couldn't ask for a better combination.

Amy will be assisted by three other rock stars in the world of food and drink. First, our new Food Blogger, Garrett Snyder. You may remember his byline from that awesomely knowledgeable list of L.A.'s best sushi places — or his thrilling description of an underground dinner thrown by the Vagrancy Project. Garrett graduated from Loyola Marymount University just two years ago, but he's already one of this city's best food bloggers, and we're thrilled to have him on staff.

We've also enlisted Patrick Comiskey as our new Drinks Columnist or, as he calls it, our Spirits Guide. A senior correspondent at Wine & Spirits Magazine and longtime contributor to the L.A. Times, Patrick is a former sommelier who knows everything there is to know about booze. He'll be imparting his wisdom in a new bimonthly column, Serious Drinking, and he'll also be a regular presence on this blog.

Finally, we've hired Besha Rodell to be our new Food Critic. A James Beard nominee and two-time winner of the Association of Food Journalists' “newspaper feature writing” category, Besha was until recently Food Editor at Creative Loafing Atlanta. A former New Yorker, Besha toiled in that town's restaurant scene before winning over the New South with her smart, no-nonsense style of criticism. We're convinced she'll have the same impact in L.A.

You'll start seeing these voices in our pages (and posts) in the coming weeks — along with the great mix that Squid Ink has continued to offer even in this time of transition, and, of course, Anne Fishbein's gorgeous photography. Please, join us at the feast — we won't even make you register for a paywall.

LA Weekly