Steve Coomes never planned to be a food and travel writer, but then again, he never planned to be a chef or work as a busboy in a fine dining restaurant at 15, when most of his high school friends were having fun. But when he first tasted Dover sole–fileted tableside, no less–and perfectly cooked asparagus lashed with textbook hollandaise in 1980, his destiny was set.
The restaurant business and its adrenaline-soaked pace, service of sensual delights and the characters who make the whole machine run, would captivate him for the next 11 years.
In 1991 he left restaurant operations in order to write about them, a decision that sent him to 25 U.S. states and seven foreign countries in search of great stories, food and drink. Along the way he edited multiple boutique industry association publications, was editor-in-chief of Pizza Today magazine and founding editor PizzaMarketplace.com before launching Words to Chew On in 2007. He is now a contributing editor for Nation’s Restaurant News (as a young chef, he read the magazine and thought, “How cool would it be to write for this magazine?”), a Kentucky food, restaurant and travel correspondent for Southern Living magazine, a restaurant critic and feature writer for Louisville Magazine, restaurant blogger for Insider Louisville, feature writer for Edible Louisville, a ghostwriter for private clients and a PR and marketing copywriter for numerous restaurant-related groups and businesses.
A native of Louisville, Ky., he now lives minutes outside the city in the friendly, deer-ridden, smog-free exurb of Goshen with his wife and son. The half hour drive in any direction to get a good restaurant meal irritated him to the point of reviving his interest in cooking, broadened his knowledge of potent potables and made his kitchen a favorite gathering spot for hungry friends.