Steve Coomes, freelance writer
Steve Coomes spent 11 years in restaurant operations before leaving the industry in 1991—only to turn around and write about it. When he left as a sous chef, he had a 28 inch waist, weighed a svelte 138 pounds and sported numerous cut and burn scars earned in the quarry-tiled trenches.
His passion for food and beverage—and the characters who serve them—has led to a two-decade career as a columnist, editor and reporter for more than a dozen restaurant trade publications. His work sent him to 25 U.S. states and seven foreign countries and generated enough frequent flyer miles to cover travel for several family vacations. The countless fabulous feasts and chair time combined to add 6 inches to his waist and 30 pounds to his 5’ 9” frame.
After 16 years of freelance writing just for pocket money, he took the full-time plunge by founding Words to Chew On in 2007. In the process he added multiple consumer publications to his client list, branched out into travel writing and developed a knack for penning marketing and PR copy along the way. He’s also proven handy with his Nikon (see some fave images).
His steady gigs include roles as contributing editor for Nation’s Restaurant News (the U.S. restaurant industry’s largest publication), restaurant critic and feature writer for Louisville magazine, feature writer for Edible Louisville and Seafood Business magazines, Kentucky travel and dining contributor for Southern Living, and dining blogger for Insider Louisville. He also writes marketing, PR, web copy and ghostwrites for numerous private clients.
In the 21 years since leaving restaurants, scars from burns, cuts and subsequent stitches are nearly invisible, but the added weight isn’t disappearing as easily. At present, he’s applying the powers of portion control and exercise to dissolve 12 pounds of collateral damage to his frame. To all my restaurateur and chef friends who see bites left on my plate, I promise it’s done regretfully!