Dan Neil is the author of the "Rumble Seat" column that runs each Saturday in The Wall
Street Journal. Mr. Neil was previously the auto columnist for the Los Angeles
Times from 2003 to 2010. He also wrote the column "800 Words" about pop culture that
was syndicated by Tribune media in 2005 and ran until 2008.
Mr. Neil began his professional writing career with the Spectator, a local free
weekly, and began working for The News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina,
as a copy editor in 1989. In 1991, he began the paper's weekly automotive advertising
section. Several years later, he was recruited by AutoWeek magazine as a senior
contributing editor. He was a New York Times contributor from 1995 to 2003, before
becoming a contributing editor at Car and Driver.
In 2004, Mr. Neil won the Pulitzer Prize-the only car columnist ever to win a Pulitzer. In
awarding Mr. Neil, the Pulitzer board praised his "one-of-a-kind reviews of automobiles,
blending technical expertise with offbeat humor and astute cultural criticism." He also won
the Ken Purdy Award for Excellence in Automotive Journalism from the International Motor
Press Association in 2001. The following year, he was selected for Houghton Mifflin's Best
American Sports Writing.
Mr. Neil received a bachelor's degree in creative writing from East Carolina University
and a master's degree in English literature from North Carolina State University. He is
married and has twin daughters and a son.
Lettie Teague is a wine columnist and staff writer for The Wall Street Journal.
Her column appears on alternate Saturdays in the Weekend Edition and debuted April 2010.
She joined The Wall Street Journal after 12 years as the wine editor and columnist
at Food & Wine magazine. Her popular monthly column, "Wine Matters," won the
2003 James Beard MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award and the 2005 James Beard Award for
Ms. Teague is the author of Educating Peter, an introduction to wine
(Scribner's), and co-author of Fear of Wine (Bantam). Her work can also be found
in the 2009 Best of Food Writing (DaCapo).
Ms. Teague splits her time between New York City and the North Fork of Long Island-also
known as "wine country." She loves most wines of the world except Pinotage-she has never
had a good Pinotage.
Rick Smith and his wife Hiroko Furukawa are the founding owners of SAKAYA, New York City's
first and only shop that specializes in premium sake. Since opening in December 2007,
SAKAYA's mission has been to focus on acquainting, educating, and familiarizing patrons
with the pleasures of drinking premium sake and pairing it with food. Located in the East
Village, the shop's aim is to offer a learning experience through which understanding and
enjoyment of sake serves as a bridge to appreciation of the Japanese culture from which it
Both Mr. Smith and Ms. Furukawa are recent graduates of renowned sake educator and expert
John Gauntner's Sake Professionals Course in Tokyo, in addition to being Sake Education
Council-certified sake specialists. In March 2009, Mr. Smith completed the Mukune
International Sake Brewing Program at the Daimon Sake Brewery in Osaka, a weeklong
experience in all aspects of the sake-brewing process. He also received the Sake Service
Institute's Honorary Sake Sommelier Award in Tokyo.
Prior to starting SAKAYA, Mr. Smith had a 30-year career as a New York advertising agency
and magazine publishing executive, most recently as a vice president and associate
publisher of Food & Wine from 1994 to 2005.