Born in England, early childhood in Jamaica. I was five when we visited New York; I knew right away I'd live there someday. The bit in between is a blur some grade school in the US, boarding school in England, medical school in London. Pathology in Boston, forensics in Miami. And then, finally, New York. It's even better than I imagined it I've lived here 20 years now, and not a day goes by when I wouldn't drop to my knees and kiss the sidewalk.
I'm a forensic pathologist, a Senior Medical Examiner in the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner; it's demanding, fascinating and vitally important work. I've lectured on forensics around the world, including for the New York Police Department, the National Institute of Justice and the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA.
In the evening, I write. I got my start in Paper magazine, doing a column on the music and culture of raves and nightclubs. Then the gastronomy thing took off, and my food writing started popping up in bigger and bigger magazines Food & Wine, then Martha Stewart Living, then the New York Times, GQ etc. I became a contributing editor for Martha Stewart Living, which I think kept me sane during the hard times after 9/11. The cops found it was hilarious one detective liked to say, "Dr. Hayes he spends his days with dead, his nights with Martha Stewart Living!" (The same cop also sang Hendrix's "Purple Haze" as "Doctor Hayes", with the chorus "Excuse me/While I cut this guy".)