By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor

Wine is most certainly food, but beyond our cheese coverage, we haven't done a great job introducing you to New York's seemingly endless food artisans. In fact, it's been almost non-existent. That's why today's dual announcement that Dave Seel and Rochelle Bilow are joining the NYCR staff to expand our food coverage is so exciting.

Rochelle_bio Rochelle Bilow doesn't just consider cooking, eating and seeking out the best food around her job — she considers it her life. She prides herself on being “food-obsessed” and works to make good, honest food accessible and exciting to everyone.

In addition to serving as the Finger Lakes Wine & Food Ambassador for Finger Lakes Wine Country and Finger Lakes Wine Alliance, Rochelle is a food columnist at the Syracuse Post-Standard. She attended culinary school at the French Culinary Institute and lived and cooked in Manhattan before coming home to Upstate New York.

Rochelle combines a genuine love for the Finger Lakes with an impressively large appetite, and will be writing not just about the restaurants of the region, but the farmers, artisans and everything in between.

Dave-seel Downstate on Long Island, Dave Seel will fill a similar role, covering the growers, chefs and artisans in and around Long Island wine country.

Having driven cross country nine times, Dave a veteran food adventurer. He's caught lobsters in Maine, eaten fresh venison in The Redwoods, and though once was a vegetarian, he fell prey to bacon and has a love affair with bison.

While living in California, he became obsessed with Napa Cabs, Anderson Valley Pinots and Truffle Tremor goat cheese. When not teaching students about the San Francisco Estuary, he was adventuring in wine country and the neighborhoods of San Francisco, discovering the brilliance of California cuisine.

He is a strong advocate for producing food and libations locally and supporting regional food systems.

After a brief stint in the wine industry, Dave moved back to his native Long Island to be closer to family. He brought a love of food adventuring, wine, and local food and was very excited to discover the food scenes of NYC and The East End.

Please join me in welcoming them to the site and look for their first posts over the next couple of weeks.