danacowin_big.jpgThe Basics
Age and occupation. How long have you lived here, where did you come from, and where do you live now?
I'm 43 and I've lived in New York City forever. I came from the East Side and moved to the West Side. From my roof I can see the apartment I grew up in.

Three for You
1. How did you get involved with Skip Lunch/Fight Hunger and City Harvest?
I became the editor of Food & Wine magazine ten years ago and after a steady diet of meals at Le Bernardin and Daniel, it was important for me to give back to the community. I joined the Board of City Harvest that year. I was impressed with their clever solution to the hunger problem: they pick up from places that have too much food and deliver it to agencies that turn the ingredients into meals for hungry people.

One thing you're supposed to do when you're on the Board is raise money. I hate asking friends for money, so I shied away from all aspects of fundraising...until last year. We had the idea of asking people to donate their lunch money. Now this was something I could get behind. I don't mind trying to get hundreds of people to give up loose change. We discovered that $5 could really make a difference in the life of hungry children--the $5 you would spend on a fancy coffee drink could help feed 1 child for an entire week. So we contacted about 50 people, corraled them into handing out paper bags to their colleagues and then picked up the bags. I sat in my office and counted money for 2 days. I loved it. We raised $60,000. This year, I hope to double that number.

2. Okay, I definitely plan on "skipping lunch" on May 12th, but I really need to eat dinner. Let's say I'm making the first dinner for someone I recently started dating. I favor poultry and my cooking skills are "advanced beginner." What do you suggest for the meal and wine?
I would suggest you make a completely fool-proof lemon chicken. You rub salt and pepper in the cavity of a 3 pound bird, then put a pricked lemon inside (roll the lemon around on the counter first to get the juices going), tie the legs together, put it in a roasting pan and leave it there until it's done. Then I'd serve it with broccoli rabe sauted in olive oil and garlic and toss it with a few red pepper flakes. For the wine, I'd go for a Cold Heaven Viognier.

3. A recent New Yorker has a little piece on wine in The Talk of the Town. It opens by describing wine writers as products of their homeland: English are "fusty and understated," Americans tend to be "democratic and exuberant" while French writers seem to occupy that place in France where the naked ladies dance. How would you describe the wine voice of your magazine?
Irreverent and informative.

Proust-Krucoff Questionnaire
Please share a personal (and hopefully interesting) NYC taxi story.
I think catching a cab is one of my true talents. I can spot a free one three blocks away. I once sprinted across three lanes of traffic with a brand new editor in tow, endangering us both. But I didn't care; we got the cab.

9pm, Wednesday - what are you doing?
I'm eating with TV star chef Jacques Pepin at Per Se, the new Thomas Keller restaurant in the Time Warner building. The view's amazing; the food even better.

What's your New York motto?
Eat well or why bother?

What's the most expensive thing in your wardrobe?
A vintage Courreges dress that (I now think) looks like a chic airline stewardess costume.

Where do you summer?
At my friends' country houses. Still working on the perfect hostess gift.

What was your best dining experience in NYC?
Taking over Gramercy Tavern for my wedding dinner...it was sublime even though I was too nervous to eat.

Medication: What and how much do you take?
Since wine is so good for your heart, I try to drink a glass a day.

Skip Lunch/Fight Hunger Day is tomorrow, May 12th. More information is available on the City Harvest website.