Illustrations by Mark Ross

Nancy Nichols Steps Down as D Magazine’s Lead Dining Critic

Today I step down as the lead dining critic at D Magazine. Before the rumor mill mangles the truth, I will give you the short version.

I was going to avoid writing this post until the March issue of D Magazine goes online, on March 2. That way it would be easier to explain the reasoning behind my decision to change my life and my job. But then the mail went out, and, after subscribers received their magazines and read my story, I received some supportive emails and texts.

Before the rumor mill mangles the truth, I will give you the short version: I have developed a treatable medical condition that prevents me from eating certain foods. The process of discovering this disease took me almost three years. I rationalized the symptoms as signs of stress and overworking, and I did not seek help until I woke up one morning and could not move.

I’ve been writing about eating out in Dallas for almost 18 years. The job is a privilege and certainly has its brilliant moments. I love the restaurant business, and I’m lucky I have been able to experience it from both sides of the pass-through. I loved the years I spent cooking in a restaurant kitchen. It’s extremely fulfilling when people love what you feed them. It’s equally satisfying to have a healthy discourse with food lovers and restaurant owners.

I am not going anywhere. I remain D Magazine’s food and travel editor. I will continue to write features and profiles, contribute to SideDish, and work on new ideas to expand our dining coverage.

Eve Hill-Agnus is now the lead dining critic. She brings a unique writing style and a superb palate to D Magazine. I am thrilled to add her perspective to our collective voice.

If you want to read the not-so-glorious details of my journey now, you’ll have to buy a magazine. Otherwise, you will have to wait to learn about my intimate relationship with Depends when the story goes online.

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Comments

  • billholston

    Best wishes Nancy. You’re a real treat to readers.

  • joeptone

    Feel better, sister!

  • HPmom

    I have always felt your talents as a writer were wasted just doing food critiques. (I loved the article about your mom)

  • Christine Finnegan

    Best of luck Nancy. I always enjoy reading your dining perspective.

    • Nancy Nichols

      Thanks, Christine. I’m not going anywhere and my perspective is alive and well.

  • Martin Klein

    Sorry to hear that. Your reviews will be missed.
    Fortunately there is plenty else to write about.
    Good luck managing your health problem.

    • Nancy Nichols

      Thank you so much.

  • Jeffrey Weiss

    I feel yer pain. I’ve got food sensitivities that pushed me away years back from thinking about becoming a food writer. Whether I had the chops for it or not is another issue…1:-{)>

  • Nancy Nichols

    Thanks, Fran. I appreciate your notes over the years. N

  • Nancy Nichols

    Thanks HPmom. That means the world to me. I have many stories already lined up. NN

  • Nancy Nichols

    Hey Bill. Thanks.

  • Nancy Nichols

    I’m learning about the healing power of food. It’s an amazing force!! Thanks, Jeffrey.

  • Kelly Hunter

    I’m so glad you’ll still be writing and present! Your perspective is quite important.

    • Nancy Nichols

      Thanks, Kelly!

  • DGirl

    You are such a badass. So glad you’re going to take care of yourself. It’s always been a pleasure to work with you professionally but to most of all be your friend.

    • Nancy Nichols

      Thanks, K.

  • mrs. f5

    Buying the magazine, reading the story, wishing you well…and looking forward to many more features, profiles and posts with your name in the byline.

    • Nancy Nichols

      Thanks for buying the magazine! I’ve got some fun stories lined up. N

  • Jessica Ventouras

    Nancy​ – i know exactly how you feel! I was screaming yes! yes! yes! this entire article, it really resonates with my own experience. I too am a “picky eater” who asks too many questions of waiters. So happy you found the source of your health issues! I know it gave me a new lease on life #healthiswealth

    My husband Davio​ and I started Boom Juice​ for that very reason – a place where people can eat out without having to worry. We get most credit for our juices but we are actually most proud of our raw vegan paleo food and desserts (our raw cinnamon bun is actually our best selling item!)

    • Nancy Nichols

      Thanks, Jessica.

    • conservexx

      I’m sorry, but it’s very tacky to promote your business in this circumstance

  • Chris Chris

    Well this stinks. I’ve always held your restaurant opinions in high regard. Looking forward to reading your other stuff now and hey, it’s not like I can’t go back and check out your previous reviews… Here’s to staying healthy!

    • Nancy Nichols

      Thanks so much. Onward.

  • mikeS

    You know I’ve been a fan of your work since you started, and I will still look for your by-line any time. I feel that your tastes and insights have helped the Dallas public find what they want to see and eat. Best wishes for your quick and complete recovery. Let’s see … is Chicken-fried Anything on your diet? Hope so. 🙂

    • Nancy Nichols

      Thanks whoever you are. What you wrote means a lot to me. right now chicken fried anything isn’t on my horizon, but I never say never.

  • adkim

    Glad to hear you’ll still be around.

    • Nancy Nichols

      They’ll have to drag me out of here.

  • MrsB

    Now you can date Nick Badovinus in public! Nice for you!

  • Robert Morris

    Best of luck Nancy, I’ve really enjoyed your stuff. Are you still going to go on the cruise in August? I’m looking forward to the article to find out more details. It sounds educational and I imagine it will help others out there who may have similar problems and don’t know why yet.

    • Nancy Nichols

      Hell yes I am going on the cruise!! Come on along! I hope others benefit from my health experience. Thanks for your note. N

  • Nancy Nichols

    Thanks, Dori. I already crave my pond scum. I was quite amazed at how quickly my symptoms changed after altering my diet. I am very skeptical about many things and not easily influenced. But this was a real eye opener.

  • mdunlap1

    Now you can focus full-time on your true passion: criticizing Leslie Brenner.

  • Tina Danze

    Nancy,
    Although I have enjoyed your food writing, I was riveted and moved to tears reading your article about your mother — happily, written just before she died. It was such a beautiful piece. I hope that you have the opportunity to write about anything that moves you going forward.

    • Nancy Nichols

      Thanks, Tina. That is my plan.

  • dallasfoodorg

    Best wishes to you in your modified role and to your successor as dining critic.

    • Nancy Nichols

      Thanks, Scott. It’s been a long ride.

  • Dubious Brother

    I always thought Blackie Sherrod was the best sports writer but his writing after he left the sports page was, to me, his best work. Looking forward to the new you.

  • GGretser

    I am lucky to have worked around two great food writers – you at D and Penny Pollack at Chicago Magazine. It’s more than words – it’s a meld of knowledge, art and style stirred with fairness. I’m so glad we will continue to see your work in other features in future issues of D.

  • Scagnetti

    Uncle Nancy tell me this is not true and I’m not a stranger to explosive diarrhea so if you get jammed up and want to go and have a drink sometime you HAVE my email addy…

  • marisa

    Sounds like your body has rebelled against all the rich and sometimes lousy food. This had to be a tough job and you did it very well. For me you were on target most of the time and I always enjoyed your writing style. Looking forward to your new assignments….maybe you could write about the new type of diet you are on.Wishing you good health.

    • Nancy Nichols

      Eighteen years is a long time to eat a lot of mediocre food. N

  • Margie Hubbard

    I just about choked on my crappy lunch when I saw this! I am certainly glad that we won’t be losing you. And that you determined the source of your trouble. Life brings us so many unexpected changes. We just have to keep moving forward, huh? Much love!

    • Nancy Nichols

      Thanks, Margie!

  • kindallas

    Thank God ;-).

  • Lee Winer

    Ms Nichols,

    Just want to express my dismay after reading of your situation. I always looked forward to reading your posts. I wish you all the best in the future. FWIW, we like to say: “it’s all for the best”

    Cheers,
    Lee Winer

    • Nancy Nichols

      I will still be posting here on SideDish. I will not be the lead reviewer for the magazine. Thanks, N

  • Truth

    Nancy – I echo what several have already said. I enjoyed your food writing but not as much as I did the article about your mother. In my early 30s I spent about three years living with mom. Although I had my own apartment at the time, I enjoyed my mother’s company so much that I was at her house more than mine. Your article about your mother just touched home for me. Please do more like that. Best of luck!

  • JSSS

    Have enjoyed your food writing and am very much looking forward to seeing more non-food stories from you! Glad to hear they figured out the medical issues and that you have improved so much!

  • Pingback: D Magazine Names Eve Hill-Agnus Lead Critic After Nancy Nichols Steps Down | SideDish()

  • Jim

    Die well you skank bitch, I am sure there is a special place in hell for you…

  • Jim

    That was quick..lol

    You are a fucking joke.. Keep that pig outfit on, it does you well

  • cheshire

    Karma’s a bitch, ain’t it!? You dragged my name through the mud a few years ago during one of your outings, fabricating the events of the evening in your review to the extent that I was investigated by the powers-that-be. It was only after producing comp receipts and reviewing security camera footage of the food that you claim “never made it to your table” that I was cleared of your allegations. Just as these lemmings pay attention to your articles, so the universe seems to have been paying attention to your motives.