Olympia – Jan/Feb 2018
Seaside – Jan/Feb/March 2018

Even More Talent Comes to RFT

Mt Rainier

One of the things that makes distinctive is the large number of professional writers and photograpahers, many of them national and international award winners, who contribute to the site. We feature the work of writers like Carla Waldemar, formerly food editor at Better Homes and Gardens and Cuisine magazines; Sue Frause, a veteran travel and food writer and founder of the very popular “Kitch n Bitch” cooking show; and Debi Lander, a world traveler and officer with the Society of American Travel Writers, the largest professional association for travel writers and photographers. And most recently, Suzanne Corbett, a food writer, food historian, cookbook author, and media producer, and winner of numerous writing awards, joined RFT as our first Food History Editor.

We’re pleased to be adding even more talent to our line up with three new writers joining our ranks: Lara Dunning, Courtney Drake-McDonough, and Annelise Kelley.

lara dunningLara Dunning is a true Northwesterner, living on one of the beautiful islands in the Puget Sound. I first met Lara at the Travel + Words Writers Conference where I was teaching. The conference organizers were offering two scholarships and Lara’s essay earned her one of those prizes.

Lara’s work has been published in Bainbridge Island Magazine, Experience Anacortes, Northwest Travel & Life Magazine, and Whidbey Life Magazine and She loves small town living and her travel discoveries about accommodations, adventures and dining can be found at Small Town Washington ( Her interests include young adult novels, history, hiking and locavore-inspired food. Lara’s first story for RFT is an excellent review of Silver Cloud Inn Mukilteo.


courtney Drake McdonoughBased in Denver, Colorado, Courtney Drake-McDonough is an award-winning writer, editor and photographer who’s passionate about the food world and writing about all aspects of it. In addition to her work for RFT, she writes for a wide variety of magazines, newspapers and websites and is the editor of, a news and reviews site covering restaurants, theater, movies and travel in the Denver area.

Courtney’s first story for, “Tasting Arizon’s Agritourism Scene,” explores what’s new and fresh in this desert state. She’ll have another piece on a very cool food tour in St. Louis publishing soon.


Annelise KellyAnnelise Kelly is another freelance writer I met at the Travel + Words Conference and the other winner of the aforementioned scholarship. She’s based in Portland, Oregon, and has traveled extensively in Europe, Asia, the Caribbean and North America. Annelise says she’s constantly on the lookout for “the delicious, the unusual, the quirky and the culturally significant” and finds camel trekking in Rajasthan and exploring downtown Los Angeles equally compelling and exotic.

Her writing has appeared in publications, including National Geographic Traveler, Destination Hyatt, Waldorf Astoria Magazine, Latitudes and and. She’s been interviewed on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday by Liane Hansen about her summer cooking gig in Martinique. She also cooks professionally. Annelise’s first contribution, a review of Ice + Cream, an artisan ice cream shop in Monterey, California, is coming this month.


We’re honored to welcome these fine writers. You are what makes special. – Bobbie Hasselbring, RFT Editor

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Bobbie Hasselbring

RFT founder and the website's former editor-in-chief, Bobbie Hasselbring has been a travel junkie her entire life. She's been an award-winning writer and editor for more than 25 years and author of the regional food-travel bestsellers, The Chocolate Lover’s Guide to the Pacific Northwest and The Chocolate Lover’s Guide Cookbook.