Krista Reese first became entranced with the powers of the written word after seeing her musical puppet show, based on the exploits of astronaut John Glenn, performed before her third-grade class.
In the years since, she’s built a life around writing in just about every other form. As a UGA grad student and co-founder of the short-lived New Arts magazine, she interviewed members of the fledgling music scene in Athens, Georgia (the B-52’s, R.E.M., Pylon). Moving to New York in the early ’80s, she landed contracts to write trade paperback biographies of Elvis Costello, Chuck Berry and Talking Heads for London-based Proteus Books, as well as a “do-it-yourself adventure” (Match Point, New American Library) under the pseudonym Angela Harper.
Missing good tomatoes and decent iced tea, she moved back to Georgia in 1988, taking a job at Atlanta magazine. As arts & entertainment editor, she interviewed local talents like then-resident Halle Berry, painter Clyde Broadway, Thomasville writer Bailey White, celebutante RuPaul, filmmaker Julie Dash, and many others. While editing the dining section, she assigned and wrote reviews for the monthly, reader-generated Roundtable section. Joining the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a features editor in 1994, she oversaw the work of five features reporters, as well as editing legendary AJC columnist Celestine Sibley (which was less like editing, and more like driving a Bentley).
Returning to freelancing in 1996, Reese has published work in a wide variety of publications, including the Washington Post, Southern Living, U.S. News & World Report, People, Traditional Home and Bon Appetit, on a number of topics, from politics to pole-dancing. (See “Atlanta Fixture in Harsh Spotlight,” about the notorious, now-closed strip club The Gold Club’s place in Atlanta’s social history, for the Boston Globe.) Writing about food has been a consistent sideline (and pleasure) since her first reviews for Atlanta magazine, continuing as the AJC’s “Restaurant Scout,” covering neighborhood and ethnic restaurants, then as critic for Catalyst magazine, and currently, dining editor at statewide business magazine Georgia Trend. She has published two cookbooks: Atlanta Classic Desserts (Pelican, 2009) and Atlanta Kitchens: Recipes from Atlanta’s Best Restaurants (Gibbs-Smith, 2010).
She still owns the rights to that puppet show, if anyone is interested.