Publisher & Creative Director: Judi Gallagher | www.judigallagher.com
A graduate of Johnson & Wales, Judi has managed and owned restaurants in the Northeast and was the founder of a successful dessert company. Today, she is a sought-after restaurant consultant, TV chef and is a freelance culinary editor, spa editor and Luxury travel editor for several publications. Her personal passions are culinary travel to exotic places and holiday cooking in her home for huge gatherings of friends and relatives. Her guilty pleasure? Bruce Springsteen concerts. “I follow him around the country and have for years,” she admits. “But, in every city where Bruce sings, I do check out new restaurants and talk to up and coming chefs. I want all the food news I can get.” Judi is also the author of the popular cookbook “Reflections and Recipes of Chef Judi.” Follow her on twitter @Chefjudi and Youtube @Chefjudigallagher and Instagram @Chefjudigallagher
Marsha Fottler (Editor emeritus)
Marsha has been a newspaper and magazine food and lifestyle writer first in Boston and since the early 1970s in Florida. She regularly contributes to regional and national publications with articles on food, culinary history, trends, chef profiles and restaurant design. She is a frequent lecturer on the restaurant experience. “Food is history, culture, the livelihood of many and the pleasure of all,” she believes. “For many people food may be the primary reason friends and family gather together to share experiences, express love, argue and make memories. Whenever people gather around a table anywhere in the world to eat, talk and laugh, only good things can come of it.”
Internet Media Director: Jim Galiano | www.jimgaliano.com
Jim Galiano started his first online business in 1998. Today, his consulting, web development and email marketing services are used by businesses in the U.S., UK, Australia and Ireland. He also publishes a popular weekly business podcast called, “The Jim Galiano Show” that’s available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify & iHeart Radio. Jim has authored over a dozen business publications and has been interviewed by a variety of media sources including the Wall Street Journal and CBS News in NYC.
Doc Lawrence – Contributing Writer
Old school journalism describes the style and stories produced by Doc Lawrence. “In everything I do,” he says, “there is a beginning, middle and an end.” One of the top travel writers in the country, Doc is steeped in the heritage of the deep south. Traveling the back roads from Texas to Virginia and on down to Key West inspires stories about local food and wine preferences, community theater, folk art and music often leading to clues for a good story. Heroes include Faulkner, Hemingway, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Ralph Ellison, Dorothy Parker and Willie Morris. An Atlanta native, Doc keeps a well-stocked wine cellar and bar and two outdoor grills. He enjoys entertaining and believes that the greatest challenge for a writer is to keep searching for a higher life. www.thegourmethighway.com | firstname.lastname@example.org
Lori Rodgers – Contributing Writer
Lori’s passion for food and fine dining began at an early age. She started reading Gourmet at 8, and was fortunate to have a father who included her in his travels to cites across the US, often frequenting restaurants she had read about in the magazine. After studying hotel and restaurant management at FSU for two years and thoroughly enjoying the summer program in Switzerland, she graduated with a degree in International Business with a minor in Spanish.
Lori owned and operated the family business, Bert Rodgers Schools of Real Estate for 25 years, indulging her cooking hobby by whipping up meals for family and friends on the weekends. She has two teenagers who have adopted a vegan lifestyle, adding a new challenge to Lori’s cooking repertoire. Lori recently sold the business and is embarking on a new chapter and new career, returning to her true calling, cooking and exploring the multifaceted world of food!
Debbi Benedict – Contributing Writer
A Midwesterner by birth, but a Floridian for the past almost 40 years, Debbi Benedict has been a longtime magazine columnist and an even longer edible landscaping enthusiast. Her definition of an edible landscape is, “Food for myself; the birds, bees, and butterflies; and most importantly, for my soul.”
As a young girl, her love of the lore and accessibility of herbs started her on her gardening journey. Upon her move to Florida, her gardening world exploded as she was introduced to the magical tastes of tropical fruit trees and the value of native plants. Now her quarter acre yard, known as Benhaven Farm, flourishes with over 100 fruit trees, shrubs, and vines, and an unknown number of native flowering plants.
Kathleen Gagg – Contributing Writer
Kathleen has a decade of experience developing and managing the inspired lifestyle brand for one of the most trusted builders in America. In her career as the President of Lifestyle she has successfully developed a Concierge program for both our four-legged friends and our two-legged friends, Signature Events and best practices – all focused on creating real estate value for developers, and homeowners, by offering unparalleled quality and superior service. She is also an accomplished Real Estate Agent and an avid supporter of the military. Her knowledge of the Real Estate & Lifestyle Markets is matched by her passion for helping others design their own lives packed with their unique passions.
She serves as the Brand Ambassador & Event Planner for “Project Gratitude” for the Miss America Organization. Project Gratitude is an event created to honor and celebrate surviving spouses & mothers of our fallen military heroes in collaboration with high profile leaders, celebrities and corporations. Her work as Executive Director of the nonprofit, Got Your Back Network, earned her the United States Army’s Outstanding Civilian Service Medal presented by General Ray Odierno.
When Kathleen isn’t guiding clients through buying or selling a property, or introducing residents to the perks of Sarasota life, she is paddle boarding or spending time with her family, preferably on the gorgeous Siesta Key Beach.
Jen Brown “Zen Jen” is a Certified Yoga Instructor, RYT500. She is also a Yoga Therapist Student at Heartwood Yoga Institute. Jen is registered with Yoga Alliance, she’s a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists and the Alternative Balance Professional Group. Specializing in the 50 Plus population, Jen has extended training in Balance, Flexibility, Parkinson’s & Alzheimer’s, with Certifications in Senior Yoga and Chair Yoga. She also holds a Certification for Meditation Instructor and is an Energy Clearing Reiki Master.
Further, Jen is Certified in Restorative Yoga and YIN Yoga; Trauma Informed Yoga and Yoga for Cancer Recovery. She also holds Yoga for Death, Dying and Caregivers Certification, and is able to hold compassionate space for those in need. Jen Brown brings Awareness to the Service of Others as a Teacher of Presence and is a true Self-Love advocate.
Her classes are Gentle, Restorative & Healing…. Mind, Body & Soul … Starting this amazing journey in her 50’s in search of her own healing, Jen looks forward to hearing your story & welcomes the opportunity to see how yoga can help you! Namaste!
Zen Jen Brown
Erlinda Alexandra Doherty – Contributing Writer
Known as the “Wine Evangelist,” Erlinda is a certified wine/spirits educator, columnist, and sommelier who teaches wine in an engaging and approachable manner. Her wine column #WINEDERLUST appeals to wine enthusiasts and novices alike, while her in-person and virtual seminars, are high-energy, engaging and educational. She’s helped thousands discover the world of wine even while safe at home!
As the founder of “VINÍCOLA,” Erlinda provides wine consulting services including educational events, private tastings, sommelier services, hospitality staff training, retail/supplier marketing, and wine travel planning. She’s served as ABC Columbia’s resident Sommelier and has hosted #WINESCHOOL on TV and radio. She’s organized wine festivals, launched restaurant wine programs, reports on the local/national wine scene in numerous online and traditional publications, and represents artisanal brands. She’s helped local wine establishments and global brands grow their followings and increase their client base. Whether virtual or in-person, intimate or wide-scale, Erlinda has helped our community experience wine in a new, interactive way.
V I N Í C O L A
Wine Consulting + Sommelier Services + #WINESCHOOL
thevinicola.com ǀ @thevinicola
Joan Cooper – Contributing Writer
A native of Florida, Joan has lived in the mid-Atlantic for the past 8 years. She has traveled extensively across Europe, South America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia, learning about the cuisines of each region along the way. She thinks that the mid Atlantic region has an amazing variety of dining options and offers a unique flavor that no other part of the country can offer!
Sammi Battista – Photographer, Videographer, Social Media Creative Manager
Sammi is a Sarasota native and has been working in the photography/videography field since she was 15 years old. Starting as a photography assistant in 2010 for her mother’s photography business, Celestial Studios Photography, she took over the business in 2017.
During High School, Sammi attended Suncoast Technical College and took a class called Digital Video Production. Here she found her passion for storytelling and being “behind the lens.” After graduating 2013, Sammi accepted her first job at WWSB Abc7 as a freelance audio operator. She quickly climbed the ladder and became a full-time Photojournalist. During her time at ABC, Sammi’s passion for video production for restaurant reviews, visits to the farms, bakeries and BBQ throw downs made her a natural to start working with Chef Judi Gallagher.
In 2018 Sammi made a major career move becoming a Television Specialist for Sarasota County Government along with working as Chef Judi’s photographer, videographer, social media creative manager and professional food taster.
Sharon Pritchard – Contributing Writer
Sharon Pritchard’s varied careers all over the globe make her the ideal international culinary travel writer. Her first occupation was that of a French telephonist at the Continental GPO telephone exchange in London in the days way before direct dialing! Then, she was a tour guide with American Express and the travel industry became her love for the next 15 years until life led her in a different direction – pub, restaurant and hotel management in the UK. Crossing the Atlantic, she spent 10 years in Sarasota, Florida where she owned and operated a motel on Siesta Key, during which time she also owned a British import store. After returning to the UK, Sharon once again turned to pub and restaurant management running three country inns and a hotel in Kent. During that time, she also edited website content, books, essays for local businesses and students. Ten years ago she qualified as a teacher of English as a second language and taught a variety of students, children and adults from a multitude of nations. Retiring to Normandy, France two years ago enabled Sharon to embrace a passion, cooking and entertaining. With Paris just two hours from her home, Sharon now conducts private tours of that vibrant city as well as tours of the World War II Normandy Landing Beaches. And she still continues to teach English as a second language.
Anna Dantoni – Contributing Writer
Here is a woman who never saw a cookbook or culinary history book she didn’t want to hug, read and tell the world about. Reviewing books for Flavors & More is a guilty pleasure for this book club member and hunter of obscure food books in stores of pre-owned books. She loses count of how many food books she evaluates a year, but reveals that she cooks at least one recipe from every book she reviews to make sure that the recipes make sense and that the instructions are sound and easy to follow for the home cook. Her favorite type of food book? “That’s easy,” said Anna in a rare moment of divulging anything about her private life. “I love culinary mysteries, you know the ones where the author serves up the murderer along with about a dozen delicious recipes for me to try. I can’t yummy up enough of them.”
MyCookingMagazine.com is an online magazine dedicated to the pleasures of the table realized through recipes, libations, travel, books, entertaining and features that celebrate food and all those who gather together to share meals and memories. The publishers of MyCookingMagazine.com bring to this enterprise more than 50 years experience in the world of food and entertaining as writers, consultants, chefs, restaurateurs and world travelers.