In the era of the metrosexual male, men have become a lot more sophisticated about food with guys looking beyond burgers and beer for dinner. It is the perfect time for food writers like Adina Steiman, to create dynamic food stories for this narrowly defined audience.
Steiman joined the staff of Men’s Health magazine in January 2010 as the food and nutrition editor, a position, she said, that allows her to tap into content with a clear, direct appeal to how guys live.
“It’s inspiring to be here,” Steiman said. “Men’s Health has done such a great job creating food and nutrition content that guys can actually use, and I am excited about continuing that tradition.”
The publication devotes nearly 20 pages to food and nutrition coverage per issue, and has featured famed food writers like Mark Bittman, John T. Edge and Jeffrey Steingarten. It also publishes an annual food issue – coming out in October – where the entire Well section is dedicated to food.
And Steinman is thrilled, she said, to be part of that equation. She oversees all food and nutrition coverage and one of her main objectives is to keep content fresh, lively and timely.
“I love the challenge of creating dynamic stories and cherry-picking news, recipes and ideas to share with the readers,” she said. “Right now, we’re mapping out feature ideas and laying the groundwork for our October food Issue.”
Shaping quality stories and recipes relevant to people in the real world is certainly not new to Steiman. Luckily her past experiences have come into play in her current role. She turned to journalism from cookbook publishing in search of a more collaborative and short-term gratifying experience.
“I’ve always been fascinated by food and nutrition is just the other side of the food coin; so when I realized I wanted to be an editor, focusing on food was a natural progression.”
The journey took her through the hallways of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, where she served as a senior editor of Everyday Food. She was also a food writer for the New York Sun, and has authored the cookbook,The Good, the Bad, and the Yummy.
“And of course,” she added, “attending culinary school gave me a solid grounding in technique that always comes in handy.”
Inasmuch as book publishing and culinary school involve hard work and dedication, crafting vibrant food stories for Men’s Health also entails masterful multitasking as her days are often hectic. “At any given moment, I could be editing a story, meeting with a writer, brainstorming a feature, interviewing a scientist, consulting with a fact-checker, testing a recipe, or tasting a new line of chocolate,” she explained.
In the midst of it all, Steiman is also planning to incorporate the newest media communication tools, likeTwitter and Facebook, to reach out to readers and gather information quickly. Although she does not tweet regularly yet, and uses Facebook only for personal networking, Steiman plans to jump into the media social networking scene soon, she said.
“I love to use Twitter as a quick way to hear food and nutrition chatter from a really varied cross-section of sources. Variety is the key,” she said. “Journalists multitask more than ever now that content is straddling the print and online worlds. The challenge is to view this as an opportunity to tell your stories in a richer, fuller way using the new tools we have – without becoming so overtaxed that creativity and quality suffer.”
As the news cycle has become faster and readers discard topics a lot quicker, print editors, Steiman said, aim to contribute quality content that is not as disposable as a tweet.
Steinman wants PR professionals to send pitches that are well-targeted to the magazine.
She also advised, “I hope PR professionals are aware that we’re open to many different kinds of food in Men’s Health – not just ‘health food’ and ‘guy food,’ but good, honest, artisanal food, too. And of course guys like gadgets and good-quality shortcuts that will make them better in the kitchen.”
Since nutrition is such a huge part of the magazine’s coverage, pitches on books and foods are always welcome, she said.
Steiman prefers to be contacted by e-mail only.