Maura Judkis

Reporter, The Washington Post

Washington, D.C.

Maura Judkis

Maura Judkis is a reporter for the Washington Post. She has also written for U.S. News & World Report,, ARTnews, the Washington City Paper, and the Onion A.V. Club. She has appeared on MSNBC, PBS, Al Jazeera and numerous radio programs.


I used every pumpkin spice product I could find for a week. Now my armpits smell like nutmeg.

Pumpkin spice is not a flavor, it’s a lifestyle. Its mantra is the crackle of fallen leaves and bonfires. “Sweater weather” is its holy creed. The pumpkin spice life, like its coffee, is sweet, and you are always #thankful for your #blessings. It was never really about that particular blend of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, ginger and allspice, but how it makes us feel: warm, nostalgic, loved.
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Another restaurant closes. That doesn’t mean the industry is headed for a crash.

Ripple was the kind of warm, welcoming place that bred regulars like rabbits. It was both upscale and casual, and not overpriced. It won awards and was fondly reviewed. It was filled with people until, gradually, it wasn’t. “Our sales were down, and they’ve been down over the last couple of years.
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Can smart kitchen devices actually make you a better cook?

In the kitchen of the future, it was time to make some salmon, and the reporter of the present day — that’s me — had several choices. I could put it in my smart pan, which would notify me via cellphone alert when it had reached the precise temperature — 375 degrees Fahrenheit — at which the fish should be cooked, and when to put it in the pan, and when to flip it, too.
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Sous vide is couture convenience food. Is this the year home cooks finally embrace it?

To help the harried cook, there have long been promises of dinner at the touch of a button. But a San Francisco start-up has gone one step further: It has eliminated the button. With a device that debuts next month, the contents and precise cooking directions of a pouch of food — tagged with radio frequency identification — can be determined with a mere pass in front of its small screen.
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Brands want to capitalize on 4/20 munchies. Pot advocates say it’s time to grow up.

When you and your buds get the munchies on April 20, the high holiday for marijuana users, a small army of marketing professionals is working to ensure that in your haze, you’ll reach for their brand of blazed, er, glazed doughnuts. Or Totino’s Pizza Rolls. Or Burger King. Or any other brand of junk food — even from a wholesome, family-friendly company — that suspects its biggest fans may be spending the day more flame-broiled than a Whopper.
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‘There’s a dignity to this place’: Inside the world of pay-what-you-can restaurants

When the check hits the table after a three-course meal at the homey EAT Café, it looks a little unusual. The receipt slip reads: “The total above is only a SUGGESTED price. Please write here the amount you wish to pay.”. The meal is valued at $15, plus $1.20 in tax. Some pay it. Some pay more.
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A robot named Bruno helped make your pizza. Is it still ‘artisanal’?

When robots inevitably take over our planet, as the dystopian vision of science fiction writers foretells, we’ll lose our jobs, our freedom, our humanity. But take comfort in one thing the robots will provide for us lowly carbon-based life-forms: artisanal pizza. They’re already making it in a commercial kitchen in the heart of Silicon Valley: Two robots named Pepe and Giorgio squirt sauce on dough, and another robot, Marta, spreads it.
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Would you pay to make a reservation at a hot new restaurant? You might have to.

Making a restaurant reservation has become easier with web services like OpenTable. But when they are too easy to make, sometimes diners don't show up. New services, like pre-paid tickets, are looking to innovate the dining industry and guarantee patrons follow through on their reservations. Do you have a reservation?”.
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You ordered that latte two hours ago? ‘Think about leaving the coffee shop.’

You can get an espresso at Bread Furst, or a baguette, or a perfect piece of pie. But if you want to get some work done, be prepared: Owner Mark Furstenberg just might ask you to move along. The James Beard Award-nominated baker sees his Van Ness cafe as a neighborhood gathering place — not a second office for ever more prevalent teleworkers.
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Artisphere: ‘Doomed from the start’

When the arts complex Artisphere opened in 2010, it was envisioned as the savior of culture-starved Rosslyn, a dream space for emerging artists and a millennial-friendly hangout in the Concrete Canyon. “I coined the line that we were proof that there was ‘life after 5’ in Rosslyn,” former Artisphere director Jose Ortiz said.
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Why some restaurants are doing away with tipping

On a busy Friday night in New York’s East Village, the friendly and efficient servers at Dirt Candy took home zero dollars in tips, but they considered it a good night. When you’re a server on salary — rather than relying on often-mercurial guests for your financial livelihood — every night is a good night.
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Artists are fired up over doughnut shop's use of Cool 'Disco' Dan's name

"I hope you all support my new business venture Ben's Chilly Bowl, serving fro-yo and paying homage to an unaffiliated D.C. icon!" wrote one Facebook commenter. "Check out my new brownie shop, it's called Chuck Brown Brownie House," wrote another. "Now go-go get those brownies!" "It was such a playful, fun name.
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Maura Judkis

Maura Judkis is a reporter for the Washington Post, covering culture, food and the arts. She has also written for U.S. News & World Report,, ARTnews, the Washington City Paper, and the Onion A.V. Club. Maura has appeared on local and international TV and radio, including MSNBC, PBS, and Al Jazeera. She is a 2007 graduate of the George Washington University, and a 2011 arts journalism fellow with the National Endowment for the Arts and the University of Southern California.