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Deborah PankeyFood Editor
As food editor since 1997, Deborah Pankey has seen readers' interest in all things culinary grow faster than butter burns in a hot skillet.
Pankey writes weekly about food news and trends that touch suburban readers, providing insightful commentary, helpful advice and approachable recipes. She has followed local cooks to the Pillsbury Bake-off and suburban chefs to the hallowed kitchen at the James Beard House in New York City. She has watched tiramisu go from a treat known only in fine Italian restaurants to the freezer cases at Trader Joe's, and chefs like Rick Bayless, Gale Gand and Mario Batali rise to mega-star status.
Pankey also edits popular Food columns including Cook of the Week, Lean & Lovin' it, Good Wine and Baking Secrets; under her watch, the Food section has earned top honors from the Illinois Press Association (2007) and the Association of Food Journalists (2003, 2006).
In her dual role as restaurant critic, Pankey keeps tabs on the ever-evolving restaurant scene. Her monthly restaurant reviews offer readers a taste of ethnic gems, mom-and-pop eateries and bustling bistros throughout the collar counties.
Interestingly, her first restaurant review (Barn of Barrington) appeared during her junior year at Palatine High School, though she never gave critical writing a second thought as a journalism major at the University of Illinois in Urbana. She went right from the student newspaper at U of I to the Daily Herald's DuPage bureau where she covered the police beat and all aspects of local government before joining the Features staff.
Today, she lives in Palatine with her husband and two boys. Her guilty pleasures include Elburn honey, home-grown strawberries, butternut squash soup from Le Titi de Paris in Arlington Heights and Moon Man Pale Ale from New Glarus, Wis. Be her friend on Facebook at Deb Pankey Daily Herald or follow her on Twitter at Pankey's Plate.