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Don Baker, a journalist and one-time carhop, waiter, bartender and maître 'd, divides his time between Richmond and Brooklyn. The former Washington Post political reporter enjoys Richmond's Southern accent (grits and sausage, rockfish, bay oysters, peanut soup, pimento cheese, ham biscuits) and New York's exotica (razor clams with Meyer lemon and breadcrumbs, taleggio ravioli with speck, pear and walnut, and braised pork cheeks with cardoon, barley and nettle).

Matthew Freeman has worked in restaurants, but his real food education comes from his travels to five continents, 47 states and eight Canadian provinces, always in search of new food to try. He prefers a hole-in-the-wall serving authentic international food to fine dining with linens and crystal. He's happy that the Richmond dining scene continues to embrace seasonal and local products while pushing the boundaries of what Southern food can be.

Robey Martin grew up in a restaurant family and is a former server. She maintains that a staff meal often is the best meal. She considers Richmond to be one of the better places to eat in the nation and will argue the point — also that there's nothing better than a good cup of coffee. When she isn't eating, she's thinking about eating. She's happiest with a good sazerac, a briny raw oyster or hand-cut french fries, stellar examples of which can be found in the capital city.

Karen Newton is a dedicated and adventurous eater despite being raised by a mother who refused to serve lamb, butter beans or beets. Finding culinary salvation in a father who exposed her to oysters, shad roe and sardines, she continues to do him proud by trying anything once, often twice and most things as many times as she can. Ever the optimist, she hopes that 2014 is the year that Virginia wine becomes as ubiquitous as Virginia beer in restaurants and that Richmond's talented chefs continue to tempt her to eat out every day.

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