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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Is their crossroads cuisine ‘the next big thing’? Uyghurs hope so.

Uyghur people are “really hospitable,” said Erkinay Abliz. So that’s why, when a recent visitor to her brother-in-law’s Cleveland Park restaurant, Dolan Uyghur, struggled to pull a piece of lamb off a nearly sword-length skewer, Abliz picked up her own kebab and bit the meat directly off the metal.
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Snap a selfie inside Yayoi Kusama’s mirror rooms. But take a moment to reflect.

The first time I walked into a Yayoi Kusama mirror room, I spent a minute in isolation, pondering the infinite. I was surrounded by mirrors — on all sides, even the ceiling — and the floor was covered in the Japanese artist’s characteristic neon dots. I looked into the horizon and saw thousands of versions of my own reflection, growing smaller and smaller until I disappeared.
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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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Artisanal marijuana crabcakes: Is this the future of getting high?

As Matt Doherty wrapped up his cooking demonstration, a woman in the audience raised her hand to ask a question: How long would the cannabis-infused butter he had shown them how to make keep in the fridge? “I’ve never had it go bad,” replied Doherty, the manager of a Capitol Hill hydroponic supply store.
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This ‘burger pervert’ turned a fetish into a following. Now, can he make it last?

The day Mathew Ramsey went viral was nearly his last. It was March 8, 2014, and traffic to his over-the-top blog, PornBurger, had just gone through the roof after a mention on the technology website And as he was sitting at his kitchen table, watching it all happen, he took a bite of a ham sandwich and began to choke.
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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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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.