After nine years in Brooklyn, N.Y., Emily Farris, Midwestern cuisine queen, decided she was sick of baking tuna casseroles in a kitchen that was also a hallway. “I was sharing a tiny apartment. I wanted to live like an adult,” she says, “and in New York I couldn’t afford to do that.”So she started thinking about where else she might like to live: Austin, Texas, Portland, Ore., maybe Chicago.
But then, in 2008, she flew to her hometown of Kansas City to promote her new cookbook. “I was sitting in this plaza where there were lots of shops and restaurants,” she says. “I saw buses with bike racks on them. When I left Kansas City [in 2000] it seemed suburban and boring. But when I came back to visit, I saw people I wanted to be friends with.”