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Editorial Bios

Diablo Editorial Team
 

 

Deborah Kirk

Editorial Director, Diablo Publications

Deborah moved to the Bay Area from her native New York in 2003 and is now a proud East Bay resident. She spent many years editing and writing for New York–based publications—such as Harper’s Bazaar, Details, Elle, and Travel and Leisure—followed by several years living and reporting overseas. After a time in the Czech Republic and Mexico, she moved to Panama, where she created and launched a number of Spanish-language magazines. She joined Diablo Publications in 2007 and now enjoys the endlessly creative responsibility of overseeing all the editorial content for Diablo, Napa Sonoma, and the company’s many custom publications. She’s an avid swimmer and scuba diver, and an active volunteer with a number of local organizations such as Refugee Transitions and the UCSF Medical Center.

Contact: dirk@dcpmail.com

 

Virginia Shannon

Executive Editor, Diablo

A lifelong “word nerd,” Virginia knew she wanted to work for a magazine as a tween growing up in the South Bay Area. So, she spent her early 20s traveling the world in search of adventure, before moving to New York City to pursue her editorial passions. Soon, she was writing and revising articles for such esteemed publications as Harper’s Bazaar, Us Weekly, W, VanityFair.com, Style.com, Assouline books, and the dearly departed music bible Blender. Fourteen years in the Big Apple proved enough for this California girl, however, so in 2016 she moved to the East Bay to be closer to friends and family, and to enjoy a more easy-going lifestyle. These days, she can be found exploring the natural and cultural wonders of our area with her husband and two young children.

Contact: vshannon@diablopubs.com

 

Alejandra Saragoza

Managing Editor, Diablo

Alejandra, also known as Ali, is an East Bay native and has been an avid reader and writer for as long as she can remember. When she was a child, she could often be found writing short stories and poems in her journal, and she had her first work published when she was 11 years old. She pursued her passions at UC Santa Barbara, where she studied communication and professional writing and editing—and enjoyed the social scene of Isla Vista. She also studied abroad in Madrid for a year, and while interning at an English-language magazine, she discovered a love for food writing. When she’s not out trying the latest restaurant, Alejandra can be found hiking with her Labrador, sipping a cocktail, watching a Warriors game, or baking cookies (and eating the cookie dough, of course).

Contact: asaragoza@diablopubs.com
Instagram: @asaragoza

 

Lauren Bonney

Associate Editor

Covers: Food, Health, Style

If you asked Lauren at five-years-old what she wanted to be when she grew up she would have said “A veterinarian!” Every Saturday morning she would be glued to the TV watching Animal Planet, mouth agape, absorbing everything from Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom to The Crocodile Hunter until she was unwillingly dragged away. So, it was much to her parents’ surprise when Lauren fell in love with writing and storytelling after a creative writing assignment in the seventh grade, and decided she wanted to be a writer. She majored in English and History from Santa Clara University and is a staunch lover of the Bay Area, where she was born and raised. You can find her cheering on the Giants with a beer in hand, indulging in a cheese plate, and eagerly planning her next adventure.

Fun fact: Kangaroos are born roughly the size of a jellybean.

Contact: lbonney@diablopubs.com

 

Peter Crooks

Senior Editor/Senior Writer

Covers: Arts and entertainment, personality profiles, news, and service

Peter returned to his hometown of Lafayette and began working at Diablo magazine in 1998, after spending most of the '90s as a scuba-diving, movie-watching, library-frequenting vagabond, living in Micronesia, Australia, and the Grand Canyon National Park. In addition to his love of all things East Bay, Pete is a major film buff—his movie blog, Pete's Popcorn Picks, can be found at diablomag.com, and he has contributed weekly reviews for radio programs on KFRC, KNBR, and 107.7 The Bone. He has written stories for the Arizona Daily Sun, Via magazine, Athletics magazine, and Theowlmag.com, and appeared as an expert tipster on the television programs Bay Area Backroads and Eye on the Bay.

Contact: pcrooks@maildiablo.com
Twitter: @popcornpicks

Nicholas Boer

Senior Food Writer

Covers: Food and drink

Nicholas discovered Hamburger Helper as a kid, putting him on track to sous chef positions at The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards and Postino (formerly Tourelle) in Lafayette. In Kauai he was executive chef at Plantation Gardens and a cook at The Masters under three star Michelin chef Louis Outhier. Nicholas has also been an executive chef in Sausalito, San Francisco, and Corte Madera. When he got weary of burns and stitches he became a journalist and has been a food writer in the East Bay ever since. He now spends his time bicycle riding in an ever-losing battle to expend more calories than he takes in.

Contact: nboer@diablopubs.com

 

Clay Kallam

Diablo Dish Columnist

Clay has lived in Contra Costa County since Orinda had more ranches than Range Rovers, and what  excitement there was in Walnut Creek was cruisin’ the Main. Fine dining? Pizza at Pinky’s and Freddie’s, and breakfast at Millie’s – plus the occasional dinner at the Casa O and good old-fashioned American Mexican food at El Charro.

Now, however, Clay gets to experience the best in modern California cuisine as the Diablo Dish columnist, and as he’s been to too many restaurants over the years, it’s a perfect fit. Susan Safipour is quick to point out writing Diablo Dish is the best job in the East Bay, and he’s ready to dig in, figuratively and literally, to the task at hand.

Contact: dish@maildiablo.com
Twitter: @DiabloDish 
@claykallam

 

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