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Tanya Steel is a well-known food writer and Editor-in-Chief of the award-winning food Web site, Before joining Epicurious, Steel was the New York Editor of Bon Appetit magazine, where[…]

A Londoner who grew up in New York.

Tanya Steel: I’m Tanya Steel, Editor-in-Chief of  I was actually born in London, but I moved here when I was six years old – moved to New York City.  And it’s been a very interesting influence in my life, England, because I’ve spent every summer of my life from the age of zero to about 21 years old where I would go back every summer.  And I grew up in a very Anglo household in New York City, so I’m very much 50 percent kind of English and 50 percent New Yorker.  And it’s created kind of an interesting . . . interesting bubble and meld of influences and cultures.

I think that growing up in New York in the ‘70s and ‘80s, which is when I was really here, it was a great time to be in New York, and New York was very different at that time.  It had a real grittiness and an edge to it that it no longer has.  And so I took a lot of that kind of more raw part of New York City and went to clubs all the time when I was a kid.  I went to . . .Kansas City, and . . , and Studio 54.  And the guy I ended up marrying actually worked at Xenon, which was a big disco at the time.  So I grew up in a very interesting time in New York, and in some ways I’m kind of sad that New York no longer exists like that – kind of the taxi driver that you see in New York; the New York scene of the taxi driver.  But in many ways I think that I still retained a very Englishness.  And part of that is being very polite and solicitous and maybe overly so.  And my kids, in fact, are very polite.  And I have two identical twin boys, and they are probably the most polite kids I’ve ever met.

Recorded on 1/17/08