Christopher Cook’s career spans 25 years, both coasts, and five newspapers, with stops along the way as a wine writer, wine competition judge, restaurant critic, and filmmaker. Cook — who wrote our “Restaurant of the Year” story (page 66) — has been chief restaurant critic and wine writer for Hour Detroit since 2004. “People say these kind of things all the time, but Detroit is just beginning to see the biggest change in the restaurant scene in three decades,” he says. “It is led by a small group of brilliant, young chefs who are pushing the envelope of fine dining. This has happened quite suddenly, and is just wonderful.”
Photographer Joe Vaughn has traveled nationally and internationally, capturing images for such publications and clients as Mario Batali, Conde Nast Traveler, Martha Stewart Living, Sports Illustrated, Food Network, Eating Well, and GQ. “Working on Restaurant of the Year since its inception in 1999, this year’s Restaurant of the Year is on par with some of the best restaurants I have photographed during my travels.” See what he means on page 66.
Patrick Dunn originally reported on Clintondale High School’s nontraditional “flipped” school in early 2013 for the online publication Metromode. But he was surprised to discover how much more Clintondale’s initiative had taken off in just one year (page 48). “They’ve caught the eye of the New York Times, the U.S. government, and other schools around the world,” he says. “It really is a little educational revolution unto itself, and it’s happening right here in metro Detroit.” Dunn is a freelance writer, penning regular features for Concentrate, Metromode, and the Ann Arbor Observer as well as a weekly film column for MLive‘s print newspapers. He’s also a regular guest commentator on Martin Bandyke’s show on 107.1 FM in Ann Arbor.
Hour Detroit intern Ben Curry took a look at a small group of people who are trying to make a living riding bicycles in Detroit (page 47). “I think bikes get overlooked in a city like Detroit,” Curry says. “I’m glad I get to highlight these cyclists who are bold, outside-the-box thinkers.” Curry’s reporting about two-wheelers inspired him to dig out his own bike, which he admits has been sitting neglected in his basement for quite some time. With spring on its way, don’t be surprised if you spot Curry cruising down Detroit’s bike lanes looking for his next story.
As the daughter of an abstract painter, Hour Detroit intern Dana Casadei grew up surrounded by high art and chats about such famous artists as Jackson Pollock and Pablo Picasso. The artwork of a suspected serial killer, however, never crossed her mind until this past January when she interviewed local artist Joshua Walsh, who manifested a fictional murderer’s artistic mind for current HBO drama True Detective (page 35). With the interview, Casadei says, her eyes were open to a new level of creepy, creative work. “I’ve never heard an artist talk about his work like Josh did,” Casadei says. “He had to get into this mindset that was completely different from what he had ever done.”