If you haven’t read Cherry Bombe go out and buy a copy right away. It’s one of the most gorgeous, smart, and cool magazines out there, celebrating food, style, and amazing women. The magazine’s editorial director, Kerry Diamond, is a force in her own right. Kerry is a former beauty editor at Women’s Wear Daily, later becoming beauty director at Harper’s Bazaar and working a stint in public relations before opening a trio of foodie favorites in Brooklyn—Nightingale Nine, Smith Canteen, and Wilma Jean, with her boyfriend, chef Rob Newton.
We caught up with Kerry to talk about the ways the beauty and food industries intersect, the women to watch in the food world, and why Cherry Bombe is a must read.
How do you think Cherry Bombe stands apart from other magazines?
There are so many great indie magazines today, but our design, beautiful matte paper, and strong point of view help. Plus, we’re not afraid to be political. We’re happy to weigh in on reproductive rights or other issues that mainstream food magazines can’t and won’t touch.
Cherry Bombe celebrates women in the food world, many who haven’t gotten the recognition from other publications. Who are some of the rising stars who stand out to you?
Iliana Regan at Elizabeth is a superstar. Her restaurant in Chicago is so special and her approach to food and a menu is unlike anyone else. Lexie Smith, who does the pastries at Cafe Henrie in Manhattan, is another big talent. I love anyone experimenting with baked goods that go beyond the traditional white flour, white sugar, butter thing. Laila Gohar of Sunday Supper makes the beautiful, healthy, colorful food that you want every day. And then there’s Yana Gilbuena of Salo Series, who is a real dynamo. She’s traveling the world doing Filipino pop-up dinners. She’s passionate about the cuisine of the Phillipines and wants everyone else to be too! The couple behind Take Root in Brooklyn is very special, Elise and Anna. They have a tiny restaurant in my neighborhood and serve up really thoughtful, delicious food. Imagine a tasting menu, but enjoyed in the home of a friend.
You’ve talked openly about how women are still left out in the food world. Do you think that is still the case? How is it different than the beauty world?
I definitely love that there are so many women running big beauty brands now. That wasn’t necessarily the case back when I was working in beauty. The faces of the brands were often women. There were a lot of female makeup artists, but the executives running the show were mostly men. In food, you have more and more women running kitchens and opening these amazing food businesses. Things have improved and get better every day. The challenge for women though involves having children. It’s hard enough to juggle family and professional obligations when you have normal working hours. The food world does not have traditional hours. You bake at the crack of dawn. If you’re a chef, you work all night.
People are just understanding the link between food, health, and beauty. What is your take?
Beauty starts on the inside. Back when I was a beauty editor, working out was always a thing, but there was no emphasis beauty food. A different beauty brand would have cupcakes delivered to our office every day. So, it was not a green juice moment. The fashion world looks at food differently today than it used to. It used to look at food as the enemy. I’ve become very aware of people who have healed themselves through food when conventional medicine was not working for them. I would really love to see the day when I go into my doctor’s office and the first thing they would say to me is, ‘What are you eating?’ The trend of food as medicine is a very powerful thing. I think it’s going to be something you hear more and more about in the next decade.”
Tell us about each of your restaurants.
They’re all in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, and are basically the food and drink my boyfriend and I want. Nightingale Nine is a modern Asian restaurant with touches of American seasonality. It’s hard to describe, but the food is great. Smith Canteen is great coffee and baked goods, plus sandwiches and salads to go. It’s a real neighborhood hub. Then Wilma Jean is all about burgers and fried chicken. So obviously it’s popular with families. When you have tater tots on the menu, you get kids of all ages.
What are your favorite restaurants in NYC other than your own right now?
I love Dimes and Cafe Henrie for low-key, healthy dining. Polo Bar when I’m feeling fancy. And Barbuto for pasta with friends. Lilia in Williamsburg is my new favorite.
What’s next for you?
I’m not a planner, so I’m not sure! When you’re open to possibilities, interesting things always seem to happen.