Several years ago, I was seated next to Adam Waxman at a dinner for food writers and bloggers. We had a lovely chat and I was charmed by the affable and intelligent Waxman, who shared some of his recent travel adventures. The son of Canadian icons Al and Sara Waxman, Adam has joined his mother in the family business – becoming a successful food and travel writer in his role as Associate Publisher and Executive Editor at DINE and Destinations Magazine.
If you are not familiar with DINE, you should be. It’s an oversize, glossy magazine full of terrific wine, food and travel suggestions. Sara Waxman, a legendary food and travel writer, is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief and she and Adam oversee a talented roster of writers and photographers. I look forward to their yearly launch party, which always features the kind of exceptional wine, cocktails and food that the magazine celebrates. Creating a luxury print publication in the days of online everything is a bold decision and I was excited to talk to Adam about his work, his travel and his dedication to DINE.
Wine and food is your family business – what inspired you to follow in your mom’s footsteps and become a food writer?
I’m blessed to have had two incredible role models as parents. I not only love them, but also always knew they were both really cool people. I would have followed either one of them no matter what they did. I grew up with an appreciation of food and culture from my mother, and had been freelance writing about food and travel for years. My first published story was about being attacked in a taxicab in Ho Chi Min City. Food and wine seemed to be a safer bet. When my mother started DINE, she was running it by herself. I was an out of work actor. I missed my Dad, and the opportunity to help out and work along side my Mom was a wonderful gift. I jumped at it, and strove to earn it. We trust each other.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned from running DINE and Destinations?
Gratitude. Everyone is trying. Everywhere I go I meet people who work so hard. Some are able to translate their passion and their talent into a life. It’s deeply humbling. The opportunities that I’ve had to experience that, and to share that, have kept me afloat. I’m grateful.
You have had the opportunity to travel around the world in your role – what was your most memorable wine-related experience?
It was a January in Salta, Argentina. Every star was out that night, every constellation. Brilliant, sparkling stardust swept across the sky to infinity. The air was crisp and I was naked. In one hand I held a flute of sparkling Torrontes. It had the most elegant tropical bouquet—like Fruit Loops, but probably more sophisticated. In the other hand an empanada. My host prepared a jacuzzi bath of Cabernet Sauvignon, and I sunk into that like a Roman emperor.
Do you have a go-to wine or spirit that you recommend to others?
A few years ago I discovered Marquis de Riscal, from Spain. Its plum-y richness is something I could curl up with on the couch. Later my mother shared with me that it was my Dad’s favourite wine. When I taste it now I imagine how much he would have enjoyed it.
What do you look for in a wine or food experience to share with DINE readers? What sets something apart?
A personal connection. The passion and imagination that goes into it, and the sensations evoked from it that you just can’t post to Instagram.
DINE continues to be a big, beautiful glossy publication in an age where everything seems to be digital – what inspires you to do that?
My Mom started DINE. Like her it has to be qualified and fabulous. That’s what our readership expects and that’s how we like it. In addition to that, the excitement I had as a boy, daydreaming to a Bowie record or getting lost in a Kerouac novel—that’s something I want to share with my son, and maintain for as long as we can. Online all those tactile, visceral experiences, their meanings, are digitally re-contextualized; engagement becomes passive and uncritical. In print we can also celebrate language, which, online, seems to be governed by SEO.
Where can people find DINE and Destinations?
Currently the magazine is available in Air Canada lounges, as well as Air France, KLM, Air Transat, VIA, major hotel suites across Toronto, Ontario Travel Information Centres at the borders with Quebec, New York and Michigan, newspaper home delivery to select postal codes, and in our archive section on our website, dinemagazine.com.
A huge thanks to Adam for taking the time to talk to me for this article. I hope you’ll check out DINE and catch up on some of his other wine-infused adventures.
You have told it the way it is.