Content Du Jour

Every once in a while, someone asks me what an editor really does. Unlike the term construction worker or flight attendant or assassin, the word editor conjures up a murky image at best among most members of the American public—a slovenly dressed bloke in a green eyeshade, or a schoolmarmish spinster gleefully capitalizing the words of an e.e. cummings poem.

I often make comparisons to other professions when describing my job. Sometimes I say that an editor is like an air-traffic controller,
making sure pieces “land” on deadline and then “depart” in the form of a magazine. Sometimes I liken editing to conducting an orchestra—the maestro is essential to the music-making yet completely reliant on the artists that surround him to strike the right pitch. But usually I compare editing to being a chef at a busy restaurant: You draw up a menu; you buy the ingredients; you plate, season, and garnish; and you deliver the dishes. Your aim? To delight, satisfy, and surprise your patrons.

So, with that, let me present this month’s tasting menu: We’ve got a fresher-than-fresh list of the 10 Best New Restaurants in the Twin Cities! Our food critic, Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl, recently ate her way through the newest eateries in Minneapolis–St. Paul, looking for the best of the best. The delightful results? See for yourself on page 59.

Got a taste for something more classic? How about Norman Rockwell? On page 76, crime writer Bruce Rubenstein delves into the story of Minnesota’s most famous art heist, in which seven paintings by America’s most iconic painter were stolen. You’ll wolf it down—it’s a surprising, irresistible read.

If you’d prefer something seasonal, check out “Season of Thanks” on page 70, a hearty, Thanksgiving-themed story. Writer Andy Steiner interviewed seven Minnesotans about gratefulness. The piece spotlights the unexpected blessings that can come from hardship—a useful reminder to pay attention to the sweetest, most satisfying things in life. Bon appétit!


Andy Steiner has written for Self, Glamour, Every Day With Rachael Ray, and other notable national publications. She was especially drawn to write “Season of Thanks” (page 70) because, as she says, “I love the idea that a person would actually be thankful for something that others would consider a burden. I learned sometimes the best gifts are the crummy-looking ones.”

Rory Kurtz says he couldn’t impersonate Norman Rockwell, but he honored his work by illustrating “The Heist” (page 76). “I could pay homage and interpret the devices he believed in,” he says. He adds, “Any imperfections in the final piece are mine, as Rockwell didn’t make many himself.” Kurtz’s work has also appeared in such publications as the Village Voice, Milwaukee Magazine, and Time Out.

Senior Editor Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl writes about all things food, and on page 59, she takes on a big controversy: Which of the Twin Cities restaurants that emerged in 2010 are the best? “I’m not eating calamari to make friends,” she says. “I’m eating calamari to reach the hard conclusions!” Her writing was most recently included in the 2010 volume of the annual anthology Best Food Writing.

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Joel Hoekstra writes frequently about design and architecture for Midwest Home and has contributed to a wide range of publications, including This Old House, Metropolis, ASID Icon and Architecture Minnesota. He lives in Minneapolis in a 1906 Dutch Colonial that is overdue for a full remodel—or at least a coat of fresh paint.