David Leite (his last name rhymes with eat–of course), in case you’re not familiar with his inimitable ways, is the resident Fatty Daddy, Fearless Leiter, and benevolent Oz behind this site.
A culinary clairvoyant, David founded Leite’s Culinaria in 1999, long before blogs came into being. (Remember way back then?) In 2006, he and former food editor, Linda Avery, had the distinction of being the first winners ever of a James Beard Award for a website, a feat they repeated in 2007.
Though you may know David best by the witticisms and wisdom he shares online, he’s also shared his perspective on pretty much everything—from Champagne to Welsh cuisine, from his complaints about growing up with Momma Leite to the trials and tribulations of being a super taster— in print, radio, and television. His first book, The New Portuguese Table: Exciting Flavors from Europe’s Western Coast, explored the food of his heritage and won the 2010 IACP First Book/Julia Child Award. He’s also shared his opinion in publications including the New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Sun-Times, The Washington Post, Charlotte Observer, and TheMorningNews.org.
Always a talker, David has been a frequent guest host on Martha Stewart Living Radio, including “Cooking Today,” and can also be heard as interviewer and guest on public radio’s The Splendid Table hosted by Lynne Rossetto Kasper. He’s appeared on The Today Show and is a regular guest on WTNH-TV.
David’s award-winning way of seeing the world has been included in the Best Food Writing series from 2001 to 2012. He won the 2008 James Beard Award for Newspaper Feature Writing Without Recipes for his article “In a ’64 T-Bird, Chasing a Date with a Clam” and was nominated for the same award the following year for his article “Perfection? Hint: It’s Warm and Has a Secret,” both from the New York Times. He was a 2006 winner of the Bert Greene Award for Food Journalism.
When David’s not agonizing over his next “blahg” post, chances are he’s cooking Tagliatelle with Leeks and Shrimp, Julia Child’s Coq au Vin, or Pumpkin Cake With Maple–Cream Cheese Frosting with his partner, The One Who Brings Him Love, Joy, and Happiness (aka The One).
Renee Schettler Rossi
Renee grew up channeling her grandmother, a relentless clipper and tweaker of recipes, and swooning to the essays in her father’s issues of Gourmet, inwhich she both lost and found herself. Though you may not recognize Renee’s name, chances are you’re familiar with her work. During the past decade and a half, she’s left her fingerprints on food-related content for The Washington Post food section, Real Simple, and Martha Stewart Living, and her writing and editing have drawn recognition from NPR, the Association of Food Journalists, and The Best American Recipes cookbook series. Renee can usually be found poring through the books that teeter in Seussian stacks throughout her teensy Manhattan apartment, emerging every so often to drop in on our Facebook page or to browse the wondrous and weird offerings at the Union Square Greenmarket in her Greenmarket Girl column or to sear a ribeye with her husband, E. Renee tends to be over the moon for recipes for simple food perfectly executed, such as Momofuku Chicken, Watermelon and Ginger, Cantaloupe Soup and Prosciutto Sandwiches
Director of Recipe Testing
Years ago, while friends traipsed back from Paris toting suitcases bulging with the latest French fashions, Beth lugged bags laden with mandoline and copper cookware from E. Dehillerin. It proved to be a smart choice. She still relies on that cookware as Director of Recipe Testing for Leite’s Culinaria, which requires testing, tweaking, retesting, and sometimes more tweaking before she’ll deem a recipe fit to publish. Got a query about gluten-free flour, an overly dense bread dough, or a new-to-you cut of meat? Beth can dish on any or all. She’s also styled food for photo shoots, prepped ingredients for video clips, assisted in professional cooking classes, and rubbed elbows with an eclectic array of cookbook authors and chefs. Beth divides her time between Charleston, South Carolina, and Grand Cayman. When not communicating with our 100+ home cooks who serve as recipe testers, Beth can be found making Spicy Tomato and Blue Cheese Soup, Thai Basil Pork, and Lemongrass-and-Cilantro-Crusted Ehu with Black Rice and Mango for her sons and husband.
As a young girl in Ohio, Julie was content to spend many a day baking cookies and pies and more with her godmother. This old-kitchen know-how came in handy years later when she ran a small catering company in South Florida and, more recently, while raising two boys in Seattle with her husband, Rob. She often entertains, pairing Washington wines with the latest trends in local Pacific Northwest cuisine, and she still has her very first cookbook, now part of her collection of more than 200 volumes. In life’s zigzag way, all those years of reading recipes and juggling pots and pans on the stovetop prepared her to format recipes in WordPress so they’re easy to read and to coordinate the workflow of everyone on Leite’s Culinaria staff. Jules, as David likes to call her, has a pernicious sweet tooth and a passion for cocktail hour. As such, she’s quite smitten with the our recipes for Strawberry Mascarpone Tart, Carrot-Zucchini Bread with Candied Ginger, and the Rosemary Lemon Drop Martini.
LC Community Moderator
Dan has been fascinated by food since childhood and has cooked everything from the simple to the sublime. He’s a meticulous and self-taught cook and baker, relying on cookbooks, television, and traveling as his teachers. We’re lucky enough to count him among the original recipe testers for Leite’s Culinaria. Besides his regular and rigorous testing duties, Dan curates our “What’s For Dinner?” on Facebook, inspiring others to be as curious as he about what food they choose to put on their table. Our devoted, good-natured Canadian considers Linguine with Mixed Seafood, Tomahawk Chops with Sweet Potato Puree, and Burnt Carrots with Goat Cheese, Parsley, Arugula, and Crispy Garlic Chip recipes among his faves.
There’s nothing Frances loves more than good food and good company—actually, she’s flexible on the company, seeing as that’s what wine is for. Whether on the clock or not, Frances can be found poring over cookbooks, glossy magazines, restaurant menus, and pretty much anything food-related she can find. A Los Angeles native now shivering in Chicago, she considers the cold weather to be an excuse to make the richest recipes Leite’s has to offer, including David’s Spaghetti Carbonara and Banana Cream Pie. She also appreciates a proper Pimm’s Cup.
It stands to reason that Lindsy Gamble would have a good appetite at the table, seeing as she comes from both hearty Midwestern farmers and enthusiastically indulgent Greek and Italian immigrants. This familial love of food led her to Italy for a complete immersion in the joys of Slow Food. After studying at the University of Gastronomic Sciences (we typed with envy), Lindsy returned to Boston to pursue other culinary endeavors. She also, thankfully, has an appetite for words—grammatically and syntactically correct words, that is. She wields her wicked-sharp attention to detail as copy-editing intern for Leite’s, making certain that the wording of our recipes is as reliable as the recipes themselves.
Jared Atchison, our web guru, has been developing on WordPress for more than five years and has been rockin’ the Genesis Framework since early 2010. Jared is a featured Genesis Developer and a listed Automattic Code Poet. He maintains plugins available on WordPress.org, helpful scripts on GitHub, and contributes to the Genesis Framework. When Jared is not knee deep in code he regularly speaks at and attends WordCamps around the country each year. Oh, in all his excitement, he sometimes forget to mention he got married this year. (Sorry, Sam.) Jared loves to eat, but too often David has had conversations with him while he’s hunched over his computer, fork in hand. We are all trying to train him to take time away from the laptop and enjoy a proper meal with his wife. (It’s a work in progress.)
Manny the Milkman
Manny may be new to you, but in fact, he’s been around for decades. He first made an appearance in 1966 when one day Momma Leite looked at David and said, “Hey, kid, you know something? You’re the milkman’s son!” Perplexed, David looked at his father, then his mother, then back at his father. They both nodded solemnly. He walked to his room shaking his head, wondering how on earth Mr. Lawton, their milkman, could be his father, seeing as he was old enough to be Momma Leite’s father. It took him several days, but he finally figured it out. “Leite” means milk in Portuguese. David’s dad is Manny, who’s a man and has the last name of Leite, er milk. Ergo, David is the milk man’s son. When Manny asked to come on board as LC’s official mascot, he was welcomed with open arms. Because he’s eternally in a crisp white uniform, which he’s careful not to sully, Manny eats only white food, such as Forked Mashed Potatoes, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, and, of course, Cereal Milk.