Mara Severin is a freelance writer with a bi-weekly food column in the Alaska Dispatch News.
She grew up on the East Coast, eventually landing in New York City, where she earned her BA in Literature from Columbia University. She worked as a publisher’s assistant before becoming a writer and researcher for a dealer in rare historical manuscripts. For seven years, she and her husband lived in a 300-square-foot Manhattan apartment with a tiny galley kitchen. Thus began her life-long love affair with restaurants. The kitchen was for coffee and ice cubes. The city was for eating.
In 1999, she and her husband moved to Alaska looking for adventure, but at the time she did not expect them to be of the culinary kind. In fact, she did not expect the Anchorage food scene to be as vibrant, challenging and sophisticated as it has proven to be. She is happy to eat her own words.
She began writing for local industry publications like Petroleum News Alaska, among others. She then branched out to write for a series of local lifestyle magazines including Alaska Home Magazine which regularly profiles extraordinary local chefs. These food-related features quickly became her favorite assignments.
When a restaurant reviewer position opened up at the ADN, she threw in her hat. She was offered a few pieces on spec, which then turned into a regular column. In the last four years, she has reviewed over 100 Alaska restaurants and doesn’t plan to stop until her appetite does.