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Sensi Magazine

No Holiday for Holiday

Jun 27, 2019 10:43PM ● By Dan McCarthy
When the half-century mark has been hit in one way or another in the local lifestyle media game, it’s worth tipping the ol’ reporter fedora in whosever direction requires tipping. In this case, Susan Holiday, the silver-haired maven behind Foodservice East who has been enmeshed in the Greater Boston food and hospitality scene for longer than some readers have been alive.

This is a big anniversary for you at Foodservice East. How long have you been with them?
SUSAN HOLIDAY: It’s been 47 years since I joined what was then Lodging & Foodservice News, which was founded by some New England hotel men in 1926.

You’ve basically seen the entire industry come to life.
SH: The Northeast is a great area with so many restaurants, but when I joined L&FSN, there weren’t all that many here in Boston. Seeing it grow has been exciting.

What’s your favorite food or industry trend spanning the Northeast?
SH: I think the growing numbers of high-quality higher end restaurants from Maine through eastern Pennsylvania has been the most interesting trend.

What’s your least favorite?
SH: Probably the large number of fast food chains coming into cities like Boston.

We agree. Are there any chefs inspiring you or doing things you find interesting?
SH: For those doing farm-to-table and green innovations, Peter McCarthy (Evoo and Za), Michael Serpa (Select Oyster), Jeremy Kean (Brassica), Carolyn Johnson (Moooncusser Fish House), and Sarah Wallace (Magnolia Bakery).

What’s a classic old-school Boston or Massachusetts restaurant or dining experience that is long gone but you miss and would like to see return, even for a brief time?
SH: I still miss The European in the North End.

Go-to cocktail or spot while out on the scene?
SH: I don’t really go out to drink cocktails, I prefer wine and craft beers. When I drink booze, it’s usually at home with friends. And Brewer’s Fork in Charlestown (my neighborhood) is my favorite place to go for wine/beer and wonderful pizzas, plus more.

When is the last time you were blown away by something you ate or a food festival that hit the right marks?
SH: I haven’t really been “blown away” but do love the food at Select Oyster, which I think gets better every year. Other restaurateurs I admire are Nina and Rafi Festekjian from Anoushella. And I like the Boston Local Food Festival a lot.

Finally, do you have plans to ever slow down and hang up the Foodservice East mantle?
SH: No plans to slow down or hang it up!