Experienced Food Journalist, Editor and Author

I have written thousands of stories since I began my career as a copygirl for the Detroit Free Press in 1968, just as it won the Pulitzer Prize for reporting on the 1967 Detroit riots. You can find my work on many websites, among them gayot.com, Traverse, Northern Michigan’s magazine’s mynorth.com, the online magazine I started up in 2010 for Issue Media Group, Northwest Michigan’s Second Wave, and the foodie magazine of northwest lower Michigan, Edible Grande Traverse.

After moving to the sanctuary of northern Michigan in 1999, I’ve also written for Destinations, Meetings NorthMichigan BlueTraverse CityMichigan Wine Country and have been a dining columnist, off and on, for the Traverse City Record-Eagle newspaper. I am author of the hardcover gourmet cookbook, Cherry Home Companion, and the regional softcover guidebook, Good Taste: A Guide to Northern Michigan Cuisine (both Arbutus Press) and the chief contributor to 1998’s Detroit Free Press Restaurant Guide.


During my second stint at the Detroit Free Press, I was a feature writer, food columnist and restaurant critic. It was also during that time I was lucky enough to study in Paris at the culinary school Le Cordon Bleu in its centennial year. Before that, I was an award-winning managing editor for the edgy city magazine, Detroit Monthly. And before that, I traveled the world as news editor and reporter for Ward’s Auto World magazine in Detroit. As a freelancer, I have written articles for Saveur, Midwest Living, Detroit News, Baltimore Sun, San Francisco Chronicle, Corporate Detroit, Corvette Quarterly, TWA, Cat Companion, Friends, SportStyle, Style Detroit and contributed to the Mobil Guide and AAA Guide. I am featured prominently in the book, Dining Out: Secrets from America’s Leading Critics, Chefs and Restaurateurs by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page (John Wiley & Sons).

My husband Joe and I returned to the Detroit area in 2015, excited by the prospect of seeing all the positive changes that had transpired since our 15-year absence. Wow! I am so happy we did.

My Code of Ethics

The Rules I Live By

  • Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.
  • Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility.
  • Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment, and shun secondary employment, political involvement, public office and service in community organizations if they compromise journalistic integrity.
  • Deny favored treatment to advertisers and special interests and resist their pressure to influence news coverage.
  • Be wary of sources offering information for favors or money.

Foodie File: Patty Stearns

A personal profile interview published in Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine in 2002.

Name: Patty LaNoue Stearns, food writer, author of Cherry Home Companion cookbook and Good Taste: A Guide to Northern Michigan Cuisine

Why another cherry cookbook? The whole challenge was to come up with a cookbook that had nothing but really high-end recipes. They had to have snap, to speak highly of the cherry in a sophisticated way. First fell for cherries when: I had the cherry chicken stroganoff at the Cherry Point Garden Grill in Shelby. 

What’s always in your fridge? Some kind of exotic salsa, like a roast apple and onion relish by American Spoon Foods. Also, I always have store-bought Christopher Ranch pesto. 

Favorite kitchen gadget: I love my big 8-quart Le Creuset cast iron and porcelain stock pot. It’s the most I’ve ever paid for a pan, but it’s like buying yourself a luxury car. Great investment, awesome performance. 

Must have: An old-fashioned, well-seasoned cast-iron frying pan. 

This article first appeared in the December 2002 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine. Click the link below to view this entire article in PDF format.

Click to download: TT-Dining-Disc_web.pdf