A couple weeks ago, Jason Sheehan broke Seattle's heart by announcing he'd be moving to the East Coast at the end of March for very noble, selfless family reasons. Today our hearts are lifted a bit with word that Hanna Raskin, the esteemed food critic at our sister paper The Dallas Observer, has accepted a transfer to Seattle to fill Sheehan's sizable galoshes.
J.R. loves his ragweed. Hanna? Not so much.
What makes Raskin peculiar, other than her considerable talent, is that (a) she was a crime reporter before she was a food writer, and (b) Seattle's wet climate is one of her main attractions to her new job, which she'll begin in mid-April. Allow her to explain."I've lost 10 pounds since moving to Dallas, a result of my nightmarish reaction to short Texas ragweed and a host of other noxious plants and grasses I've never before encountered," writes Raskin on the Observer's food blog. "Until my suffering started, I had no idea allergies could prey on the digestive system. It's a nasty situation, and one my doctors counseled could only be solved by switching to a bread-and-water diet or relocating. Since I like what I do, I chose the latter."
Since most Seattleites developed an allergy to Texas between the years 2000-2008 anyway, Raskin, who commutes mainly by bike and bested two Washington Post columnists in a prestigious national award derby while working for the Mountain Xpress in Asheville, N.C., ought to fit right in. Sad as we are to see Sheehan leave, we'll rest a little easier knowing that such a competent hand will arrive in his wake.