I’m interested in difficult cooking projects, le mot  juste, world flavors and local ingredients.

My background is this: English Lit  with some low-end  restaurant cooking, followed by a stint in Cambridge (more low end  cooking) and the start of a novel that took me to UMass  Amherst  for an MFA in Fiction. Finished the novel. Got into computers (pre-PC). Became a tech writer to avoid becoming academic migrant labor. The novel remains unpublished. Spent 25+ years as a tech writer, programmer, trainer, and business owner, while specializing in dinner  parties and general rooting out of interesting foodstuffs.

In 2003, I wrote an article about making fresh  pasta with a rolling pin (with quotes from Mario Batali and Lidia  Bastianach who I met at a local Books and Cooks event) that led  eventually to two columns in the Hampshire Life magazine in Northampton’s Daily Hampshire Gazette, Chef’s best, a monthly cooking column and No Reservations, a biweekly restaurant column from 2005 to 2010 and articles in Edible Pioneer Valley. Many of my articles (and blog posts) concern the local food scene–ingredients, farms, markets, and restaurants.

In 2007, I won the James Peterson Food Writing Passion Scholarship and was a finalist for the Greenbrier Scholarship and the Apicius scholarship at the Greenbrier Symposium for Professional Food Writers. In 2010, I was asked to be a judge for several Greenbrier scholarships.

Why russelnod? It’s Don Lesser backwards, more or less. The other anagram of my name is Nerd Loses and that will probably appear somewhere.


About — 7 Comments

  1. Would you be interested in sampling some of our doughnuts and coffee, and maybe writing a blog post about our new doughnut shop?

  2. hello! i’d love to connect with you about a blogger event we’re hosting at our store in hadley. let me know if you are interested! thanks!

  3. I enjoyed your article about natural veal. Can I have permission to use this as a information resource?
    My husband are raising natural, rose veal. If you have any resources to market ours to in central Indiana, I would be very thankful.
    Thank you,

  4. Hello Don. Remember me from Reeds? Wondering if you have any suggestion of a (really interesting) local cooking class…trying to give a dear friend an unusual gift. Thanks for any thoughts you many have,

    P.S. always enjoy reading what you have to say about food!

  5. Hi Don,
    I’ve visited your website and would like to suggest an additional link. What can I do to get a link or review from your blog?

    Saltworks provides Natural sea salt and has plenty of informational pages on Gourmet sea salts that your readers should find useful. You can see for yourself at http://www.saltworks.us/salt_info/salt_info

    If you don’t have the time, I would be happy to guest blog on your site. Looking forward to your response. Thanks.


    Sam Kim
    15000 Wood-Red Rd NE
    Building B-900
    Woodinville, WA 98072

  6. Hi Do –

    Enjoyed talking with you about food and restaurants before our Excel class began yesterday.

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful site with me.
    Totally enjoyed your class. You are a great teacher.

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