I continue to be amazed at how like-minded, local food and wine lovers find one another.

Today, I’d like to welcome Kristin Camplese to the NYCR’s Long Island desk. She’s a Pennsylvania native (just like me). She recently moved to Long Island (much like I did 12 years ago). And we have a mutual friend, which is how we met. Of course, I grew up with said friend, sitting behind her in many classes through junior and senior high school because our last names were often consecutive on class rosters. Kristin befriended her when they were both adults. Still — a unique crossing of paths, I think.

Like I said, Kristin is new to Long Island, but no stranger to writing about local food. A native of Pennsylvania, she has spent the last five years focused on the extensive local food and farm scene in Central PA. She is the publisher, editor, writer, and photographer (and everything else) for Cuizoo.com, a site that focuses on local food, cooking for kids and families, and parenting in general. Kristin is also a writer for Cool Mom Picks, which identifies interesting products for parents and children, with a big focus on supporting independent designers and producers.

She is also a former contributor to the WPSU Local Food Journey, DotMoms, and several blogging projects. And in a former life before kids, she was a Manager of Instructional Design and Research at The Pennsylvania State University, where she focused extensively on online learning models and implementations. This and her doctoral work yielded a published book chapter and journal articles in her field.

In her spare time, she is with her family, at the kitchen sink, next to the stove, or planning for family and friend gatherings. Her favorite people to cook for are her husband and her wildly entertaining 11 year old daughter and 7 year old son.

Join me in welcoming Kristin to the team. We’re still working on how she’ll fit her focus on local food into our drink-soaked editorial, but her first assignment was to write about the winery closest to her new home, which we’ll publish tomorrow.