The Observer has a new food editor on the way at the end of January. Her name's Beth Rankin, and for the past five years she has been editing the Beaumont Enterprise's Cat5 Magazine, a weekly arts, entertainment and dining tabloid.
She also created, hosted and produced the Local Scene on 91.3 KVLU, a radio show about Beaumont music, and appeared weekly for two years on KBMT-12 talking about Beaumont food and events. In 2004, she was swept up in a mass arrest while working as a student reporter covering protests outside the Republication National Convention and spent a couple of days in a squalid cell courtesy of the New York police.
Here are some other things we know about her:
In college, she took several wine courses while she worked in a high-end bistro, where she got a crash course in food, wine and craft beer.
She really, really likes beer. She's a cicerone-certified beer server.
She hunted geese and learned how to dress a feral hog and make sausage to find out more about where our food comes from.
She came to Beaumont to be a night cop beat reporter.
Do not ask her about eating crayfish out of season.
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She's a native of Ohio and graduated from Kent State University with a degree in photojournalism.
She's a fan of NPR.
To sum up: She's a craft beer- and NPR-loving Yankee with an arrest record from a GOP convention who's interested in crime, knows how to make sausage and is comfortable with shooting at things.
Welcome home, Beth.