In mid-May, the esteemed journal Gastronomica announced its new editor: Melissa Caldwell, a UC Santa Cruz professor of anthropology. From the fir-gilded hills of Santa Cruz, Caldwell will put out the magazine over which founding editor Darra Goldstein presided for 12 years.

A recent UC Press interview ably introduces the food-concerned thinker to Gastronomica's new editor. Caldwell's academic realm of expertise is post-Soviet Russia, specifically food's role in its culture, politics and economy. She's written two books. She enjoys fostering coonhounds, wine tasting and tea parties with her toddler.

In the interview, without appearing to explicitly do so, Caldwell also soothes anyone fretting that the world's brainiest publication about the universal need for calorie acquisition will go the way of a Rachael Ray rag.

Gastronomica will stay the same more than it will change,” Caldwell says, adding that the magazine will grow to include more scholarly research pieces and take on a more international focus — less Europe and North America, more Asia and Africa, we're presuming.

On the horizon, the interview reveals, is a special issue on critical nutrition, an idea spawned by workshops. We're looking forward to seeing how the publication evolves (and not just because we've contributed on a few occasions).

See also:

Gastronomica Magazine: What To Read Now, if Parade is Getting You Down

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LA Weekly