The Limits of the Lunchbox Moment

“The story of being bullied in the cafeteria for one’s lunch is so ubiquitous that it’s attained a gloss of fictionality.”

Source: Eater
Published: Feb 8, 2021
Length: 13 minutes (3,400 words)

The Actual Experience of Virtual Experiences

Decimated by pandemic, many businesses are offering online experiences, from cooking classes to a visit to Rome’s colosseum, but can staring at screens offer a suitable replacement for doing actual things?

Source: Eater
Published: May 4, 2020
Length: 9 minutes (2,454 words)

Dispatches From Food Service Workers Across the U.S.: ‘I’m Trying Not to Panic’

“I found out the secret was really not to make eye contact, because if I saw one of us start to tear up, it opened the floodgates for me.”

Source: Eater
Published: Apr 22, 2020
Length: 8 minutes (2,145 words)

What Did ‘Authenticity’ in Food Mean in 2019?

If your restaurant serves a European cuisine, you can have tablecloths and silverware. Anything else, you have to be a hole in the wall with plastic stools. In the next decade, can “authenticity” be less racist?

Source: Eater
Published: Dec 3, 2019
Length: 13 minutes (3,477 words)

Is There a Place for Hooters in 2018?

Ethically, no, but as long as profits dictate, then yes.

Source: GQ
Published: Jun 19, 2018
Length: 7 minutes (1,847 words)

The Extinction of the Early Bird

The early bird is the culinary extension of Florida retirees’ early bird lives, a predictable, routine meal perfect for building a night life around before heading to bed by 7:30. Unfortunately, like Florida’s Everglades, it’s endangered.

Source: Eater
Published: Jan 29, 2018
Length: 12 minutes (3,070 words)

Explaining My Multiracial Identity (So Others Don’t Do It For Me)

Jaya Saxena’s personal essay on the complications of owning her three racial identities–white, Indian and multi-racial–and dealing with the many ways people see her, and feel entitled to define her.

Source: Catapult
Published: Jan 4, 2017
Length: 8 minutes (2,099 words)

America, Pizza Hut, and Me

“Once dimly foreign, pizza had succeeded in convincing people it could be white. It was aspirational that way. I wanted to do the same thing.” Jaya Saxena reconciles her New Yorker-ness and Indian-ness with a childhood love of the doughy, pizza-like food of Pizza Hut, finding a way to hold on to her many identities simultaneously.

Source: Eater
Published: Mar 2, 2016
Length: 8 minutes (2,235 words)

Identity In Pieces: When You Don’t Know Where You Count

Jaya Saxena, whose mother is white and father is Indian, writes about her experience with being biracial.

Source: The Aerogram
Published: Oct 1, 2014
Length: 6 minutes (1,659 words)