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 The novel remains unpublished.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.