The INDY publishes Eats every year, but this is my first as food editor. It’s also my first year living in the Triangle, and what excites me most about the food scene here is how much I have yet to discover. According to our head-spinning rundown of one hundred must-eat local dishes, I still have dozens to cross off my list. But I’m happy to report that I added a few of my own discoveries, like the green-chili samosas at Mithai Indian Café, the wonderfully garlicky and briny-sweet gambas al ajillo at The Cortez Seafood + Cocktail, and the butterscotch sticky bun that rivals Hummingbird’s cocktails as the reason for its destination status.

Beyond the diversity of cuisines, styles of dining and drinking establishments, and new places opening every week, what has struck me most about the food scene here is how closely the industry is intertwined with the community. I’ve never lived anywhere else where the term “food community” isn’t just defined by the people in charge, but also by the people they serve. The Triangle’s restaurants, bars, farms, breweries, distilleries, and more all work closely with one another in the spirit of collaboration and for the greater good of those who live here. This year’s Food Triangles awards highlight three leaders who embody this ethos, working to feed our spiritsby pursuing inclusion, sustainability, and social justiceas well as our bodies.

I’ve got my work cut out for me as food editor (it’s good work if you can get it, right?), but beyond the pleasure of eating and drinking well, I’m most excited about the discoveries I have yet to share with you about the people who are making the Triangle’s food scene so uniquely nourishing. Layla Khoury-Hanold

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