Meet Stephen Satterfield, Our Newest Writer in Residence

March 23, 2017

Hi there. I'm Stephen Satterfield (or, as I say in my Instagram bio and must continually emphasize, “the other Stephen Satterfield, not of Miller Union/Root to Leaf fame). Pleasure to meet you. I'm here because Food52 has graciously offered their digital space for me to share with you a specially tailored smattering of food writings.

This may be a good time to qualify myself. I fell deeply in love with cooking and dining and entertaining in high school. I was a big fan of Martha Stewart. I still am. I always admired her diverse imprint on food culture: Cooking, entertaining, decor, and a global media enterprise. There’s an entire essay worth of things I could say, but, to say she made a big impression suffices. So too did watching and mimicking Julia Child and Jacques Pépin, first from television, then later on, from books. Thankfully, my young brain was instinctively interpreting the cornerstone of good living to be eating and drinking well, and among cherished company.

Hi, I'm Stephen. Photo by Audre Larrow

I enrolled in culinary school in Portland, Oregon at age 19. That was in 2004. The Portland of that era was not dissimilar to today’s, and the immensely well-earned reputation as one of the best food (and drink) cities in our country has rightly amplified. (I often think of my time there as part of a foundational generation for the currents explosion, but it’s possible I’m inflating my contribution.) I've taken the lessons I learned in Portland—namely its fastidiousness in sourcing ingredients—with me along the way in my career: First as a restaurant operator and educator, and eventually, today, as a multimedia producer, culminating with a magazine called Whetstone that has been in production for a few years.

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Over the past decade, I've watched the food world around me—and America in general—mature its relationship to food as I have. (Perhaps with less zeal than myself, but steadily.) One of the biggest changes has been the gradual morphing of chef and/or hospitality professional into civic leader. Willingly or reluctantly, restaurateurs are critical voices for the issues within or spilling outside of the sustainable food movement, from immigration advocacy and compliance to climate change.

I’m interested in conversations about the things we should discuss more in food: equity, justice, provenance. I hope to explore these larger themes through my writing on Food52, in stories about topics like transparency and accountability in seafood and regenerative agriculture. If there was just one thing I’d say that best summarizes my work, it’s that I try to persuade people that industrialized food, like industry more broadly, is inherently opposed to a healthy planet and populace; that the detached efficiencies of industrial production, distribution, and retail has been placed ahead of Earth and its people. And no matter your politics, upending that system in favor of rebuilding and renewing transparent, local foodways should be a nonpartisan concern.

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“We've lived in Portland since the mid-80's and have watched the progression of the growing food industry especially over the last 20 years. Love all the farms and farmers markets. Love being able to pick it ourselves...doesn't get any fresher! We are very fortunate. Are you back east or on the west coast? Looking forward to you sharing your views and expertise! BB”
— BerryBaby

Yours in local, delicious, and radical eating,


Stephen Satterfield is our newest Writer in Residence. He is a chef, sommelier, urban farmer, and recent Culinary Trust Writing Fellow at Civil Eats. Stay tuned for more from him on the site.

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On Black & Highly Flavored, co-hosts Derek Kirk and Tamara Celeste shine a light on the need-to-know movers and shakers of our food & beverage industry.

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

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Joy H. August 27, 2018
Vicky G. March 27, 2017
Welcome Stephen! Totally echo many of your thoughts and convictions & looking forward to reading more from you.
mrslarkin March 26, 2017
Hi Stephen! Welcome! It's a pleasure to "meet" you. Looking forward to reading your work.
Brad J. March 25, 2017
Great subjects, looking forward to following your work. Bravo
Margaret March 25, 2017
Viva la revolution! " upending that system"... welcome Stephen. Look forward to your contribution! And I agee with you it should be a nonpartisan concern.
MarieGlobetrotter March 25, 2017
Very excited about Food52's newcomer. We absolutely need to talk more food waste, regenerative agriculture, the future of farming and the impact of our food consumption on our planet. I'm also interested in food equity and civil eats, especially considering how much food we waste while millions can barely put food on the table.
Emily L. March 24, 2017
so excited yessss
Rachel March 24, 2017
Industrialized food... I swear, I would love to see Food 52 actually maybe once do a profile on Norman Borlaug or interview someone from the American Farm Bureau Federation to actually talk about what agriculture and feeding the world really entails.
Rachel March 24, 2017
and talk about what sustainable agriculture and land management practices look like from the perspective of a family farmer.
Catherine S. June 30, 2017
Catherine S. June 30, 2017
Emily March 24, 2017
I'm so happy to see another writer interested in promoting the health of our planet through our food. I'm excited to read your work.
Also, I saw you at the CUESA talk last night! My heart jumped when they said you were doing a residency at Food52!
La'Chia March 24, 2017
Welcome Stephen! I look forward to reading more about these topics.
BerryBaby March 23, 2017
Welcome! We've lived in Portland since the mid-80's and have watched the progression of the growing food industry especially over the last 20 years. Love all the farms and farmers markets. Love being able to pick it ourselves...doesn't get any fresher! We are very fortunate. Are you back east or on the west coast? Looking forward to you sharing your views and expertise! BB
BerryBaby March 24, 2017
Ah, Oakland! We lived in the Bay area and worked in downtown San Francisco back in the mid '70's. All those great restaurants were food paradise! What great times....and what a great place to live!
Dondrill G. March 23, 2017
Awesome ... looking forward to reading more ..
Elizabeth S. March 23, 2017
I just read your article a few days ago on Chef's Feed and have been sharing around! This makes me so happy to see and I'm looking forward to reading more!
jmckillop March 23, 2017
Sounds great! Can't wait to read more.
frecklywench March 23, 2017
Looking forward to this!
liz A. March 23, 2017
s/o to conscious food content. welcome :)
Donna H. March 23, 2017
Looking forward to your posts, Stephen!
AntoniaJames March 23, 2017
A pleasure meeting you, too! I'd love to see a deep-dive into reconciling the world's need for food (and for eliminating hunger) and the planet's need for sustainable agriculture practices. One might start by talking to some resource economists. This topic is rarely addressed - a great opportunity for food media reporting that could make an impact! ;o)
Whiteantlers March 23, 2017
Welcome! It's lovely to see another male writer here. I, too, love Martha very much. : )
Kaitlin B. March 23, 2017
I, too, landed in Portland in 2004 and began my journey into food there! Looking forward to reading your articles.