Scott Womack
Technically speaking, when it comes to new beginnings, the month of January always takes precedence because it marks the start of a new calendar year. April follows as a close second, with spring, chirping birds and the first fragrant cherry blossoms heralding the coming of summer. But for me, my favorite month of new beginnings is September, because it marks the arrival of autumn — my personal favorite time of year, even as a child. Of course, back then, it was because I couldn’t wait for school to start. Sure, I loved summer, but the thrill of shopping for new school supplies — crisp notebooks, color-coded file folders, pens in every color — and the joy of seeing all my friends again made it an oh so exciting time. But as I grew older, I found plenty of other reasons to love autumn: cooler temperatures (I’m a cold-weather girl at heart); the anticipation of Thanksgiving and the upcoming holidays; eating caramel apples at the State Fair of Texas; and, just as when I was a child, the thrill of shopping for new fall essentials — only now it’s fashion essentials rather than school essentials. You see, I love everything about fall fashion (coats, boots, scarves, hats), and I always invest in at least two or three new key pieces each season. Deciding exactly which trends to invest in can be tricky, though, so if you’re like me and want to buy wisely, turn to page 44 to see what made our list of fall requisites.

Speaking of trends, this is also our annual Food and Wine Issue, and this year, we’re exploring the new frontier of American cuisine. And who better to do that with than acclaimed chef and TV personality Anthony Bourdain, who sat down with us to discuss what he sees as the defining element in American food today (page 52). We’re also sharing five of the country’s most unexpected culinary destinations — cities that one would never have thought of as food destinations but that today, with the aforementioned new frontier of American dining, are taking center stage (page 60). We also traveled to the other side of the world for a multi-chef guided tour of Hong Kong’s best restaurants (page 68) and down to South America (page 74) to explore the lesser-known-but-no-less-amazing wine regions of Brazil, Argentina and Chile.

As you read through the magazine, you might notice a new look, too. That’s because we spent our summer giving Celebrated Living an update. We redid our front-of-the-book section (page 13), we adjusted the flow of the magazine, and we tweaked a number of design elements to create an overall cohesive look and voice (think of it as an essential fall fashion update). You’ll see even more changes over the next few issues, but for now, we hope you like what we’ve done so far.